On Thursday (May 26), Uber will begin accepting cash payments for rides in South Africa. The ride-hailing app is adding a cash option to five cities in the country: Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.
Although South Africa has a relatively high number of credit card users, and the highest level of formal banking in sub-Saharan Africa, 65% of transactions are still made in cash. Uber hopes the new payment option will attract new riders, particularly those who might have been concerned about credit-card fraud.
The cash experiment will “give Uber insight into how riders and driver-partners adopt and use a mix of cash and electronic payments,” the company said in a statement.
Uber’s announcement comes amid tension between the company and its competitors in South Africa. Last week, metered cab drivers in Johannesburg threw rocks at Uber cars, injuring a driver and three police officers. The cab drivers could be heard shouting that the violence would not stop until Uber “shuts down.”