Uber, struggling to keep business on the roads of South Korea against multiple regulation and legality challenges, signed a strategic partnership with leading local credit card issuer Shinhan Card Co.
Shinhan Card said on Thursday it has teamed up with Uber to provide Uber’s ride-hailing, car-sharing and food delivery service platforms on its mobile application Shinhan FAN. Under the agreement, Shinhan card users will be able to hail Uber cars or order food from Uber Eats by using Shinhan mobile app, and Uber users will be able to enjoy various perks and discount options when they pay Uber services with Shinhan cards.
Uber with its massive foothold across 600 cities in 70 countries hopes the partnership that allows it use Shinhan Card’s big data can help it accelerate its penetration in Korea where it has been struggling to operate due to legality issues and strong protests from the local taxi industry.
In Korea, the Passenger Transport Service Act bans firms like rental-car service operators or individuals without appropriate licenses from providing or facilitating transportation services. Last year, the local unit of the U.S.-based ride-hailing app operator was fined 10 million won ($9,335) for running an illegal taxi business in partnership with a local rental-car company.
Uber that began operations in Korea in 2013 is currently providing only limited services such as premium cap service Uber Black, carpool service Uber Share whose operations are allowed only during busy morning and evening commuting hours, and its food delivery app Uber Eats. Among them, the food delivery app, which was first introduced in the country last summer, is the only app that is rapidly gaining ground in Korea.
Under the partnership, Uber and Shinhan Card will also seek new business opportunities in the Asia-Pacific region by using overseas networks of Shinhan Card.
Shinhan Card expects Uber’s extensive marketing know-how will help enhance its digital platform business. “Our expanded mobile platform will give enhanced convenience and advantages to customers,” said an official at Shinhan Card.
By Oh Chan-jong and Lee Ha-yeon
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business News Korea & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]