Lyft is angling to be the most flexible, benefit-focused ride-sharing platform out there. Their ‘kill them with kindness’ tactic to woo drivers away from competitors has gone next-level today, in a live announcement from the company’s San Francisco office.
Lyft drivers will now get the benefit of the company’s partnerships with Stripe, Hertz and Shell to create a more flexible way to drive for the platform. Articulated in an accompanying blog post, the partnerships come in the wake of Lyft’s other agreements with Starbucks and Chinese ridesharing company Didi Kuaidi.
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Lyft’s partnership with Stripe creates “Express Pay,” a new feature that allows Lyft drivers to cash out on their earnings at any time, provided the account has a minimum of $50. According to the company, there could be an accompanying fee of $0.50, depending on the driver’s bank affiliation, and funds may take up to 24 hours to appear in an account.
Lyft drivers will still be able to rely on the company’s weekly deposits, but can speed up the process if they are short on cash with this new feature, which will roll out, as the company said, “in time for the holidays.”
Here’s a video showing Express Pay works:
Lyft’s partnership with Shell materializes in “Fuel Rewards,” a pilot program launching in Chicago, San Francisco and Boston that will give drivers a fuel discount based on their volume of rides. Those discounts can add up to free tanks of gas weekly, according to the company.
The partnership could roll out nationally to 12,500 Shell stations across the country.
Finally, for drivers without ready access to cars, Lyft’s partnership with Hertz has culminated in a pilot program that is already live in Las Vegas. Approved drivers will be able to rent Hertz vehicles at special daily, weekly and monthly rates.
Lyft’s eagerness to partner with others rather than create a unilateral, in-house strategy is quite different from what’s going on at competitors like Uber. It’s clear that the company is willing to treat its drivers with loyalty (short of giving them full-time positions rather than leaving them contracted) and rewards in an effort to keep them coming and staying on Lyft.