Uber has signed up thousands of businesses for rides
Uber’s push to make its ride service easier to use for corporate customers is making headway.
On Tuesday, the company said it has enrolled over 50,000 businesses into its Uber for Business program. The initiative, which premiered last year, is intended to help companies integrate corporate accounts into Uber’s app so that workers can bill their rides directly to employers.
Uber’s senior vice president of business, Emil Michael, told Fortune that a broad range of businesses is signing up for the service, including finance giants like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America. Mid-size businesses are also participating, he added. (Goldman is an investor in Uber.)
Uber doesn’t offer businesses a discount or charge them an additional fee for using the service. Uber’s rival, Lyft, has a similar program for businesses.
Integrating with Uber for Business lets employees avoid charging their rides to their personal or corporate credit cards. Instead, all Uber bills go to a single business account.
Uber’s claims that UberX, the service that arranges rides in personal cars, is 30% to 40% cheaper than most taxi rides. Uber says that by encouraging their employees to use its ride-sharing service, some companies have saved on average $1,000 per employee annually.
Rides from Uber’s business-focused program represent a small piece of Uber’s overall rides. Last year alone, Uber arranged 140 million rides worldwide.
Already many corporate travelers are choosing Uber over taxis, according to recent data from expense-management system provider Certify. Certify reported that Uber made up 55% of ground transportation receipts in employee expense reports, while taxis accounted for 43%. It was the first time in Certify’s history that expenses for the ride-sharing service surpassed those for traditional taxis.
Uber’s Michael adds that there are other Uber for Business features that make it easier for employees to expense their rides. One feature, for example, lets riders indicate which client should be billed for a specific expense. Another feature allows riders only to take trips during certain times and from certain destinations– after 9 pm from the office, for example.
Michael anticipates there will be 100,000 companies using Uber for Business in the next year. For now, the company will be focused on expanding the service in the UK and India, he added.
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