Carpe Diem

Markets in everything: ‘Uber for business’ – another example of why traditional taxi cartels are doomed

Now that Uber operates in 42 countries and 158 cities, the new corporate service it just introduced makes perfect sense: Uber for Business. It’s also an example of a service that traditional taxi cartels are incapable of offering because they lack a national and global network of drivers, and many traditional cabbies don’t even accept credit cards yet. Here’s how Uber for Business works:

As business travel with Uber has increased, we’ve heard from loyal users that the ability to use a shareable business account would make their lives a lot more seamless – and a lot more Uber. We aim to please, and so we set out to build the best possible product for companies and their traveling employees, whether the destination is Denver or Dubai.  The result: Uber for Business.

Uber for Business allows employees who Uber to bill their trips directly to their company.  A centralized billing system helps administrators, team leads and small business owners by providing trip information in place of receipts and helps employees by connecting with the same safe, reliable Uber ride they are used to without the hassle of having to file expenses.  (No more paper receipts!)

But it doesn’t stop there.  We’re also launching a new partnership with Concur, the world’s leader in spend management solutions with over 20,000 business clients around the globe.  This partnership will allow all 25 million Concur users to link their Uber and Concur accounts, allowing for effortless expensing.  Once an employee opts in and links their accounts, Uber will automatically pass along expense-ready travel information, including an e-receipt.   Uber, Concur and American Express are also proud to announce that later this year corporations will be able to “turn on” this effortless expensing across their entire organization.

MP: Here’s one more example of why the traditional taxi cartel model is doomed – it’s stuck in the past, and it’s not driven by the consumer-friendly forces of innovation that would allow the “Yellow Cabs” to readily adapt to the 21st century technologies the way on-demand services like Uber, Lyft and Sidecar can. Further, because traditional taxi cartels typically operate only in a single metro area, they can’t offer the seamless national and global corporate services that Uber just introduced with its new Uber for Business. Expect more innovation from the on-demand car services and expect more whining from the taxi cartels and their government/regulatory enforcers about “unfair” competition.

Exhibit A: UberFamily now operates in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia, and offers customers the option of ordering a vehicle with a car seat. Traditional taxi companies have been around for almost 100 years, and they never thought of offering that service?

4 thoughts on “Markets in everything: ‘Uber for business’ – another example of why traditional taxi cartels are doomed

  1. CFOs will push for this because it eliminates a source of employee fraud. How many times is that paper you get for your cab ride just a blank receipt upon which you can write anything you want?

    • Actually the issue began to change when Taxi’s began to take credit cards. In particular if you charge it on a corporate credit card (which most large companies now provide) the company knows the amount of the charge. Then you just check the charge to go on the expense account. So in one sense the problem has already been solved.

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