What Uber’s Driver Side API Announcement Tells Us About Daily Payments

Uber is a pioneer in recruitment and labor management. In a few short years, they’ve been able to recruit 450,000 drivers in the United States alone, most of whom likely never considered driving a taxi for a living. When you take a look at Uber’s highly tactical recruiting strategy, one element stands out — PAY. And specially, Uber’s use of accelerated wages to attract more drivers.


Uber has solved the recruitment puzzle most companies miss the mark on. A quick look at their own corporate structure tells an interesting story. On LinkedIn, there are 133 Uber professionals whose title includes the word “Payments”. They range from engineers to product people to lawyers to business development. For Uber, accelerated payouts is a top priority. They understand that people are motivated to sign up by the prospect of receiving their money as they earn it.


In just the last 18 months, the following has occurred:

  • Spring 2015: Drivers now receive weekly pay on Wednesdays instead of Fridays
  • Fall 2015: Drivers can now use DailyPay as a third party service to receive daily earnings
  • Spring 2016: Drivers can now sign up for a Greendot-issued prepaid debit card and receive daily earnings onto that card
  • Summer 2016: Drivers can now receive daily payments on their own debit card
  • Today: Uber announces public Driver Side API which enables any third party to offer accelerated payments to its drivers

The takeaway here is simple → Daily payments meaningfully improves recruiting, retention, and engagement. Uber not only spent the time to figure it out, but they are now reaping the benefits.


And while most companies can’t afford to have 133 people working on this initiative, most companies also can’t afford to waste valuable resources on suboptimal recruiting and engagement strategies.


Whether you employ drivers, delivery people, nurses, trash collectors, or even dog walkers, there’s some learning to be had from this pioneer.