PayPal and Uber have doubled down on their partnership. Having teamed up in 2013 to let Uber riders pay their fares with PayPal, the companies are now extending the service to nine additional countries.
Those new countries include Greece, Israel, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Singapore, Mexico, Hong Kong, and Canada. PayPal is not being adopted for Uber in India due to regulations that compelled Uber to instead team with a company backed by Chinese eCommerce giant Alibaba; and it’s not in China either, with Baidu Wallet and Alipay in its stead – Alibaba’s Alipay already being the dominant mPayment platform in that country.
The expansion seems to be another prong in PayPal’s foray into the mPayment sector as it branches out as its own company, complementing other recent maneuverings. But it’s also somewhat risky in terms of public image, given how Uber is increasingly provoking controversy in the many countries in which it currently operates. PayPal has recently been dealing with something of a PR crisis over its user agreement policy, and aligning itself with another peremptory Silicon Valley wunderkind could further put the company’s public image at risk.
Then again, there are many who champion Uber’s technological innovation and outside-of-the-box approach to transit, and will similarly appreciate PayPal’s innovative approach to payments. At the very least, it’s another mPayment area where PayPal has beaten Apple Pay and other competitors to the punch.