Even though Uber is still not keen on embracing Bitcoin as a payment method for their drivers, that isn’t stopping the drivers themselves from getting creative. Technically speaking, Uber drivers cannot accept tips from customers, as a 20% tip is already included in the final payment amount. However, Vugo might change all that, as Uber customers can pay drivers in Bitcoin, rather than using cash.
Vugo – Bitcoin Tipping For Uber Drivers
The issue between Uber and its drivers in terms of being able to receive tips will take quite some time to get settled. Despite including a 20% tip with every customer payment, that fee is not completely going to the drivers themselves. Uber takes a cut of this tip, just like they take a major cut of the other transaction amount as well.
Whenever someone takes a cab, even if it is through Uber, it only feels natural to tip a driver in cash. However, Uber’s company policy officially prohibits drivers from accepting any form of tips, unless they are offered money multiple times. Still, this is a rather frustrating situation for both customers and drivers alike, as the system could and should, be far more simple than it is right now.
It should come as no surprise to find out that a former Uber driver has come up with a possible solution to this problem. James Bellefeuille, the founder of Vugo, has launched a Bitcoin tipping service for Uber drivers, without the official consent from Uber itself. Whether or not that decision will have an adverse effect, remains to be seen at this point.
According to statistics provided by CNET, thousands of Uber drivers have already installed the Vugo tablet in the backseat of their cars. Other than the traditional advertisements displayed on this tablet, the software now includes a “tip your Uber driver” feature, which only accepts Bitcoin payments to complete the transaction.
Using Bitcoin as a payment method for Uber tipping services is beneficial to all parties involved, even if Uber – the company – has not officially endorsed this procedure. Relying on traditional payment methods such as credit or debit cards, as well as Paypal, reduce the total amount of money being tipped due to additional fees. Additionally, these payment methods are rather clunky to use, especially considering the whole Uber experience is designed so customers never have to pull out their credit card or Paypal application.
Decreasing Fares = Lower Wages = Bigger Need For Tipping Services
In an effort to stay competitive on a financial level, Uber recently decided to lower fare rates across 48 cities in the United States alone. As a result, Uber drivers are earning almost half of what they were making in these cities. Any type of additional income for these drivers, such as Bitcoin tips, are more than welcome to make the model sustainable for them.
On top of that, every Uber driver is providing a service to random customers, which should be awarded in its own right. Just like when a courier delivers a package at your home in a timely manner, giving the delivery person a tip is only normal. But rather than forcing everyone to walk around with additional cash in their pockets, Bitcoin payments are more secure, user-friendly and non-physical.
Images courtesy of Uber, Vugo