Car-hire service Uber: now for businesses, too

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Popular, and at times controversial, private-car service Uber has disrupted the taxi industry in hundreds of cities with its app-based service that connects would-be passengers with vetted drivers using a smartphone application. Now the company is eyeing businesses for further growth opportunities by offering business travellers the ability to create and use a company Uber account in all of the 45 of the regions in which the company operates.

Uber Logo“Uber for Business is a dedicated platform that enables small and mid-sized companies to set up an Uber account with a centralised billing system and maintain a travel dashboard that business administrators can view and use to manage budgets – at no cost,” the company says.

“Companies allow employees to bill to a single card on file rather than activating multiple company credit cards or requiring reimbursements. However the option exists for divisions of large companies to register individually – separating their expenditure for efficient internal reporting.”

Company employees can then access the new payment option in the Uber app and needn’t worry about keeping track of receipts or trying to recoup travel expenses accrued using the service.

Users can use any of Uber’s existing services – the premium Uber Black, the more affordable UberX and Uber Van, the service for groups larger than four.

In July Uber for Business was launched in Canada and the US alongside pilot projects in France and the UK. One of the perks of the service for international travellers is that the same app and billing details can be used regardless of where the user is.

Despite it’s enormous growth in recent years Uber’s success hasn’t been devoid of controversy. Earlier this year technology news site The Verge revealed that the company was aggressively recruiting individuals to request rides from rival service Lyft in the US with the express purpose of trying to convince Lyft drivers to work for Uber instead. The company has also been accused of recruiting people to request and then cancel rides from rival services.

Whether or not you use Uber and whether or not you approve of its business practices there’s no denying it’s turned the taxi and private-car hire industries on their heads. Viva disruption, viva.

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