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US ride-hailing company Uber to allow users in India to book rides through WhatsApp: Report

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US ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Ltd on Thursday said it will introduce a feature that will allow users in India to book rides through messaging service WhatsApp. The move could help Uber reach over 500 million user base of WhatsApp-owned Meta Platforms in India.

“Starting this week, we’re rolling out a new service that gives people the option to book an Uber ride through the official Uber WhatsApp chatbot,” Uber said in a blog post.

Uber has been operating in the country for the last eight years and is now available in 100 cities. “Riders will no longer need to download or use the Uber app. From user registration, ride booking and receiving trip receipts, everything will be managed through the WhatsApp chat interface,” Uber said.

WhatsApp users can book a ride by messaging Uber’s business account number, scanning a barcode or clicking a direct link to open an Uber WhatsApp chat.

The company said that riders will get the same safety features and insurance protection as those who book trips directly through the Uber app. The WhatsApp chat flow will inform the user about safety guidelines, including how to contact Uber in case of an emergency.

The facility will initially be launched in Lucknow, the capital of India’s most populous state, Uttar Pradesh, and will then be expanded to other locations by next year.

The service will be available in English, Uber said, adding Indian languages ​​in the near future.

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