Concerned that its drivers are turning to payday lenders and other loan sharks, Uber is set to introduce a system to allow drivers to be paid as soon as their shifts end.
Uber is teaming up with Green Dot, a pre-charge card company to offer a service called GoBank to its drivers. The ride-sharing service will offer the feature for free to its employees, as long as they access their accounts once every six months. Should that not happen, drivers would be charged a monthly fee of $8.95.
"Our drivers should not have to pay for this technology," said Wayne Ting, Uber's general manager for the San Francisco Bay Area.
Uber usually pays its drivers once a week, which can cause a strain on the budgets of its largely low-income workforce. In the past, drivers have turned to payday loans or apps like Clearbanc, which allows drivers to be paid immediately at the cost of $2 per day.
Lyft was the first ride-sharing app to offer immediate payouts when they introduced a similar service recently. However, they require users to deposit at least $50 and charge a fee of 50 cents for each use.
Uber will begin a pilot service for GoBank in select cities, including San Francisco, before expanding nationwide.
Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.