Uber Introduces Courier Service in Select Markets, Putting Drivers to Work Uber Introduces Courier Service in Select Markets, Putting Drivers to Work
carrying a package to a car

Uber Introduces Courier Service in Select Markets, Putting Drivers to Work

Regardless of whether small businesses have been deemed “essential” or “non-essential” by their local governments, there’s no doubt that their operations have been impacted. While some essential businesses have been making adjustments and even hiring more to meet demand, those in the non-essential category have had to get creative in hopes of producing revenue and keeping their employees paid. Speaking to that latter dilemma, this week Uber announced new courier and delivery services meant to help their drivers find essential work.

Uber’s latest ventures are Uber Connect and Uber Direct. With Uber Connect, users can send packages in a contact-free manner by requesting a driver via the rideshare app. When the driver arrives, the customer can place their package in the driver’s trunk, share the ride information with the recipient, and have them meet the vehicle curbside to retrieve the package. Uber notes that packages sent via this service must weigh less than 30 pounds and be valued at less than $100. Additionally some of the prohibited items include alcohol, medication, dangerous items, illegal items, etc. Currently Uber Connect is available in 25 cities in the United States, Mexico, and Australia.

As for Uber Direct, it will offer a new way for businesses to deliver to their customers. For example, a pilot program in New York City allows Cabinet users to receive their over-the-counter medication orders via Uber. Other tests of the service so far include parcel service in Portugal, pet supplies in Australia, and medicine deliveries in South Africa.

Both of these services emerge at a time when most Americans are currently under some form of a stay-at-home order. Thus, Uber’s rideshare business has dropped significantly. That said, the company does also offer restaurant delivery through its Uber Eats app, which has seen a surge in new restaurant partners since most municipalities are only allowing businesses to offer take-out. On that note, Uber Eats has been waiving delivery fees for local and independent locations in a bid to bring them more business during these turbulent times.

Although services like Uber and Lyft could hardly be considered small businesses at this point, it’s important to remember that the vast majority of their workforces are made up of independent contractors — or small businesses in their own right. Given this reality, it’s nice to see Uber pivoting and trying to find a way for its drivers to make money while also keeping themselves safe. While it’s unclear what the future will hold for either Uber Direct or Uber Connect, for now, these services seem like smart moves on the company’s part.

The "Email" field is empty, you must enter some text to proceed.The text you entered in the "Email" field appears to be invalid, please edit it and try again
Get the Latest News Delivered to Your Inbox

FedEx Announces Winners of 11th Annual 2023 Small Business Grant Contest

Nearly three months after the entry period ended, FedEx has announced the winners of its 11th annual Small Business Grant Content. This year's event saw more than $300,000 in funds going to a variety of small businesses across the nation. Last month, the company revealed 100 finalists, with that list now being narrowed down to just 10 winners. This year's grand prize winners included KindVR, The Cupcake Collection, Up In...
Summer app

Student Loan Benefit FinTech Summer Raises $6 Million

For years, student debt has been one of the most talked about financial topics. What's more, while the debt itself has become a major part of many Americans' lives, discussion of student loans has become political due to efforts to forgive certain loan repayments. However, while we wait for resolution on that front, a FinTech that brings student debt benefit solutions to employers and consumers has raised a new round...
H-E-B and Central Market  credit cards

Imprint Launches Credit Cards from H-E-B and Central Market 

The FinTech Imprint is partnering with the popular Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B for a pair of new rewards credit cards. This week saw the launch of the H-E-B Visa Signature Credit Card as well as the Central Market Visa Signature Credit Card. With these two (nearly identical) options, customers will be able to earn rewards on groceries and beyond. First, both versions of the card earn up to 5% back on select...
Melissa Urban holding a Ness card

Health and Wellness Rewards Card Ness Partners with Whole30

In recent years, several unique rewards cards have come to market. These include offerings from FinTech startups as well as brands looking to do something special for their loyal fans. On that note, a recently-announced rewards credit card offering is now working with a popular brand to introduce new benefits for customers. This week, the Ness Card (which is issued by The Bank of Missouri) unveiled a new partnership with...
Choice Privileges Select Card

Choice Hotels, Wells Fargo Debut Choice Privileges Select Card

With spring well underway and the summer travel season now just around the corner, Choice Hotels and Wells Fargo have unveiled their latest co-branded credit card offering. Today, the two companies announced the Choice Privileges Select Mastercard. Carrying an annual fee of $95, this card will serve as the premium option in the hotel brand's new lineup. Looking at the Choice Privileges Select, it offers a mix of rewards categories....