The ongoing cash-crunch is making this wedding season a tad less festive in India. As the country’s cash-first economy is making brides, grooms and parents sweat out payment issues, taxi-hailing app Uber jumped in with Uberweddings, a cashless option to book travel for all shaadi needs.
The Indian wedding industry is worth US$15 million and counting. Travel, while not as significant an expense as say, jewelry, is still an important part of preparations.
Uber, of course, wants in. Over the weekend, the company tied up with event planners WedMeGood to make it work. Apart from India, the wedding service is available in Washington DC, San Francisco, New York, Boston, and Los Angeles.
“Weddings in India are typically an elaborate affair, often spanning month-long planning and week-long celebrations involving family and friends. Uberweddings provides an easy way for hosts to ensure that all wedding-related travel in the city is managed through cashless pre-generated promo codes,” Prabhjeet Singh, a general manager with Uber India, said in a statement.
The service will be available for the next four months. India’s “wedding season” spans November to February.
Uberweddings allows hosts to buy a certain number of Uber rides of set denominations on a specifically dedicated page on the WedMeGood website. Customers can then share those rides with guests. This allows customers to track travel expenses, as well as coordinate pick-ups and drop-offs, parking, and waiting charges.
Uber will allow users to set their own promo code, which will be printed by Uber and made available within three working days of the purchase request.
The service is available in 12 cities across India.
Not to be left out cold, Ola, Uber’s bigger rival in India, immediately emailed customers to remind them of its Ola Rentals category.