Matthew HughesFormer TNW Reporter
Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twi Matthew Hughes is a journalist from Liverpool, England. His interests include security, startups, food, and storytelling. Follow him on Twitter.
One of the barriers to Uber’s growth in Mexico is the country’s archaic banking system. Many banks prevent their customers from using their debit and credit cards online. Which is why Uber just launched its own debit card, called (what else?) the UberCard.
The sleek black MasterCard is being issued by Bankaool, which is Mexico’s first online bank, and their local equivalent to Monzo and Simple.
To request a card, customers first have to top up MXN$200 ($10 USD). It will arrive through the mail shortly after. Within five to ten business days, the card will arrive. It will also be available to purchase in convenience stores, also.
Customers who link it to their Uber accounts get their first ride free, up to a value of MXN$100 ($5 USD). And since the UberCard is issued by MasterCard, it can be used anywhere it is accepted.
Mexico is Uber’s biggest market in Latin America. But it’s also one that suffers from a large unbanked population, and a general skepticism towards online card payments, both from the perspective of the buyer and the seller.
If the UberCard can overcome this, it will undoubtedly bring more people to the service.
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