Uber begins accepting cash in Mexico City, tapping key market


On Thursday, UBER announced that it would begin accepting cash fares in Mexico City, seizing on a recent Supreme Court decision, though local government has yet to approve the form of payment.

Uber, for a long time waged campaign for cash fares in Mexico where about 60 percent of the population do not have access to bank accounts.  nMexico’s top court sided with the company two weeks ago, finding that a state ban on cash fares for ride-hailing firms was unconstitutional, setting a national precedent.

Although a cash ban in Mexico City is still in place, Uber decided has decided to begin accepting the fares, acting in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision, said Federico Ranero, the company’s Mexico chief executive.

“Because of the importance of this precedent, and because of our mission, we’re deciding to (accept cash) now, and we’re working closely with authorities to make sure that all of those regulations will be adapted,” he said in an interview.

Uber is yet to decide if it will legally challenge Mexico City’s ban but views that as a last resort, Ranero said.

Uber was launched in the Mexican capital in 2013 and in no time begun to dominate the market, but Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing entered Mexico earlier this year to challenge Uber.

Before the Supreme Court decision, Uber accepted cash in all but two of the 43 Mexican cities where it operates.

When Uber was still undergoing negotiations with Mexico City regulators, it did not want to bill in cash, preferring to stick to credit cards, said Carlos Camacho, president of consulting firm Strategic Affairs Group, who advised Uber at the time.



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