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Uber is testing a new cash payment option in the Indian city of Hyderabad, the company announced on Tuesday. The service will roll out over the next week. Uber says the test is the first of its kind across the more than 300 cities worldwide in which it offers its service. Although Uber has been providing users car rides through its network of drivers since 2009, the company hasn't ever allowed cash payments. In fact, one of the main selling points for Uber initially was the convenience of paying for a ride from a credit card through its companion mobile app. That stood in stark contrast to many taxi companies, which at the time, were only offering cash payments.

Since then, most taxi companies have transitioned to a credit card payment option by adding card readers inside the car, Uber, however, has always stuck to paying for its rides through its app, The revenue is then shared between Uber and its contracted drivers, One of the challenges of allowing cash is that Uber may have a less precise sense of the actual fare being paid, For users, the barriers to paying with cash are not so great, Users simply open their Uber app, hail iphone screen protector needed a car, and select "CASH" as their payment option, Once the ride is over, the customer simply pays with cash, Traditionally, users have hailed a ride through its Uber mobile app and paid with the card on-file in the app..

In a statement to CNET, Uber's Hyderabad general manager Siddharth Shanker said the city has the right makeup to try out cash payments. Hyderabad, the fourth most populous city in India, is one of the foremost technology hubs in the country. Several prominent technology companies have offices there, including Yahoo. "Tradition dictates that cash plays a big role for Indian consumers," Shanker said. "As a data-driven technology company that has seen strong growth in India we feel this is the right time to explore the extent of this predisposition when it comes to our service. India, for us, is a hotbed for innovation globally and experiments such as this provide us deeper insight into the local market and help us innovate around the evolving needs of consumers."Shanker didn't say whether the service will be rolled out elsewhere around the world.

The India launch, however, comes against the backdrop of ongoing efforts on Uber's part to improve relations with officials across the country, The issue started last year when a rider was allegedly raped by an Uber driver, Soon after, Uber was banned from the capital territory of New Delhi iphone screen protector needed over claims that it was operating illegally, Several concessions later, Uber is now back to operating in Delhi, though officials are still expressing displeasure with the service, Meanwhile, Uber has launched several new features to enhance safety in India, The company has partnered with SafetiPin, an India-based company that analyzes the country's streets to make them safer, Uber has also incorporated a panic button within its app that alerts police as soon as a person touches it..

Apple's CEO Tim Cook acknowledged the talks in an interview with China's official Xinhua news agency, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Cook didn't reveal any details about the conversations thus far but expressed a strong desire to launch Apple Pay in the country. "We very much want to get Apple Pay in China," Cook told Xinhua during a visit to China, Reuters said. "I'm very bullish on Apple Pay in China."Launched in October 2014, Apple Pay is Apple's first foray into the contactless mobile payments market. Using an iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch, you can pay for items on the go at supported retailers through the wireless NFC (near-field communication) technology. Apple has been drumming up support for Apple Pay in the US. But to truly take off, Apple Pay needs to expand globally, most notably in China, which is still the world's largest smartphone market and a country where Apple's smartphone share has jumped following the introduction of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Cook may be "very bullish" on Apple Pay in China, But that doesn't mean the road to adoption will be an easy one, Last year, Apple began talking with Chinese bank card association UnionPay about using its network for Apple Pay, MarketWatch reported in April, iphone screen protector needed UnionPay is the only avenue in China for banks and retailers that want to implement NFC-based payments, Apple hoped to reach an agreement by March, but talks between the two parties reportedly stalled, Talks with Chinese banks reportedly haven't been going too well either, Apple gets a 0.15 percent cut of the 2 percent fee paid by retail merchants for each credit card payment and half a penny for each debit card payment conducted through Apple Pay, But the Chinese banks have been balking at Apple taking such a large percentage on each transaction, an employee of one large bank told MarketWatch..

Apple's discussions with Alibaba Group could be another way for Apple Pay to enter China. In November 2014, Alibaba Group Holding executive vice chairman Joseph Tsai revealed that the Chinese e-commerce company had been talking to Apple about a potential partnership over Apple Pay, the Wall Street Journal reported at the time. Alibaba Group Holding owns an electronic payment system called Alipay, which boasts 300 million users, Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma said last October. Alipay could serve as a back-end service to let iPhone 6 owners pay for items from their Alipay accounts, Tsai explained. Like Apple Pay, Alipay's own app uses fingerprint recognition to confirm the identify of the user. But even here, one key challenge remains.

As the only channel in China for NFC transactions, UnionPay sets the rates paid by merchants of its system, MarketWatch reported in February, UnionPay's control of the market could be more than Alipay can handle, thus proving an iphone screen protector needed obstacle to any deal with Apple Pay, The rate charged by UnionPay to users of the NFC system "is a heavy price to pay for Alipay," an Alipay source told MarketWatch, "We don't have an offline settlement system, and expensive POS (point-of-sale) equipment is unaffordable to us."An Apple spokeswoman told CNET that the company didn't have any comment to share beyond what Cook said..