Skip to main content

Uber Technologies Inc is partnering with bank BBVA and payments processor Mastercard to launch a debit card for drivers in Mexico, an Uber executive said on Tuesday, the company’s latest gambit to promote banking in a country that runs on cash.

“Uber supports the extension of financial services in the country,” Federico Ranero, Uber Mexico’s general manager, said at an event announcing the program.

The launch marks the first time that Uber has offered such a card outside of the United States, Ranero said. The debit card will be rolled out in six cities, including Mexico City, Tijuana, Monterrey, Puebla, Merida and Guadalajara, and will eventually be extended to the rest of Mexico.

Story continues below advertisement

Drivers will not pay any commissions for use of the card, said Carlos Lopez-Moctezuma, head of open banking at BBVA.

Uber and other tech companies have had to find new ways to do business in Mexico, where more than half of the population is unbanked. Even Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador frequently remarks during his speeches that he does not use a chequing account or credit card.

Uber already acts as a hook to lure people into the financial system, Ranero said. Uber drivers must have a bank account to receive their earnings, and about 35 per cent of the company’s workforce in Mexico opened an account expressly for that purpose, he said.

As a result of the partnership with BBVA, drivers will be able to open their accounts in the Uber app, without setting foot in a bank, Lopez-Moctezuma said. Many experts blame long lines at banks and a shortage of rural branches for Mexico’s low banking rates.

Uber has also sought to reach riders who do not have bank accounts by accepting cash fares, but the policy has been met with resistance. In late April, Mexico City’s government issued rules that prohibit cash payments for ride-hailing services and require drivers to register with the city, among other measures.

In an interview after the event, Ranero said the company is seeking to discuss the issue with city regulators but will continue to accept cash fares in the meantime.

“We believe this is a constitutional right of our riders and drivers,” he said.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Unchecking box will stop auto data updates
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter