Uber Vouchers is a new scheme aimed at consumer-facing businesses, helping them offer free rides as loyalty perks or in joining offers to attract customers

Uber Vouchers

Uber Vouchers is the latest service offered by the ride-hailing giant (Credit: Uber)

Businesses can now give their customers free taxi rides after Uber launched a new scheme. The ride- hailing giant says Uber Vouchers will make it easy for companies to cover the cost of journeys for their guests.

It is working with retailers, restaurant providers and service providers such as Westfield, TGI Fridays, Live Nation, Sprint, MGM Resorts and the Golden State Warriors basketball team to help them “sponsor transportation and create a new differentiated experience”.

Uber says the service could be used as part of a company’s reward-based system for existing customers or as a perk to attract new ones – such as restaurants giving away vouchers to entice new diners by offering to pay for their taxi there.

Users will receive an alert saying they’ve been sent a voucher, which they can then accept to add to their account.

In a blog post, Uber for Business global head Ronnie Gurrion said: “For the past year, our team has worked with businesses to design a new experience that creates deeper connections between them and the people who use their services.

“We’ve learned they want to offer transportation at scale with flexibility and control.”


How Uber Vouchers will help businesses

Mr Gurrion said high-end shopping centre operators have begun to incorporate transportation into their overall customer service strategy to make visiting stores hassle-free.

Westfield, which runs malls in the US and Europe, has used Uber Vouchers to design promotions around complimentary rides for shoppers to drive footfall to its centres during key events and seasonal promotions.

Lili Fakhari, senior regional marketing director of parent company Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, said: “Being able to surprise and delight our customers with a complimentary ride with Uber is a great way to build upon our broader national partnership and make it more convenient than ever to travel to and from our shopping centres.”


Restaurant chains such as TGI Fridays also wants to drive more customers to its outlets during a specific time of the day or to a certain location, as well as offer safe rides home.

Mr Gurrion said: “While many restaurants are already leveraging Uber Eats to reach more consumers with delivery, they now have the ability to promote dine-in experiences by removing barriers to get to their physical locations.

“By leveraging both Uber’s technology for ride-sharing and delivery, restaurants now have more tools available to drive overall growth by making ordering online and now dining in accessible at the tap of a button.”


Uber Vouchers for live events

When on-demand entertainment like Netflix makes it more tempting than ever to have a night in, Uber recognised how convenience is now a key consideration for event organisers.

Californian NBA team the Golden State Warriors has used Uber Vouchers to bundle their offers – such as a ticket, Uber ride and a snack for a certain price – or provide a loyalty perk.

Fans receive a voucher directly from the club and can save it to their Uber smartphone account with a single tap.

The Warriors’ chief revenue officer Brandon Schneider said: “The fan experience is of vital importance to the Warriors organisation, and it really begins the moment a fan departs for a game.”


Other businesses working with Uber Vouchers

Uber Vouchers is an expansion of the Uber for Business division, which was set up in 2014 and enables employees to bill their Uber trips directly to their employer.

The company also offers gift cards already as part of a company’s promotional efforts but Uber Vouchers targets a wider range of consumer-facing businesses.

Mr Gurrion added: “Companies [that] already offer customers shuttle or rental car services can also make effective use of Uber Vouchers.

“The vouchers can provide a real-time, flexible transportation option for customers while reducing operational overhead and fixed costs.

“We have been working with many partners across hospitality and auto insurance, testing Uber Vouchers as part of their customer service and see a tremendous opportunity to use on-demand technology to improve their customers’ experiences.”