Even though UBER being banned from London is old news (from 3 months ago), this is still quite relevant nowadays
The reason as stated in new articles was that UBER had some fake drivers (either holding invalid licenses or not insured) going through verification process successfully. The fact that fraud is happening when people successfully go through a verification
process with invalid documents hurts many businesses like UBER.
I’m particularly not very fond of excessive regulatory impositions in many industries as this can curtail innovation but in cases like the one with UBER, hats off to London authorities to be on top of this issue instantly. I don’t even want to know how many
fake drivers do exist in many other countries and cities (especially where enforcement is poor) and I urge local authorities in countries and cities to be on top of it as it is a matter of passenger safety.
Since I read the news, I started looking into their driver onboarding process and it is hard to say if they have an in-house solution for their drivers’ verification or if they are using some external provider. But that is not as important. Going through
the onboarding process, especially when even static pictures of driver licenses from device are accepted (we all know this is not difficult to fake), I ask myself how bullet-proof their onboarding process is when it comes to fraud prevention. After the success
of UBER during this decade, many ride sharing / hailing companies and apps have mushroomed all over the world and there is stiff competition in the market to not only acquire passengers but also drivers. In the race for being the number 1 in the market, I
won’t be surprised if the funnel for new drivers is a bit more open and relaxed than it should be. This thought on its own is quite scary, especially when I think about all the crimes, such as robbery, rape attempts, and many others we have read on the news
and by no means this can be taken lightly.
As an early innovator, UBER has led the way in ride sharing market and still a global leader in this space. It is always great to see many other companies coming up with different twists in their services as ultimately it helps average consumer. Given this
leadership position UBER holds, they play an important part in setting the model on how things should be moving forward, especially when it comes to ensuring passenger safely and eliminating driver onboarding frauds. Technology is the only way to solve this
problem at scale. By Reviewing the driver onboarding process (as well as ongoing random checks) to ensure that best in class anti spoof and anti-fraud systems are used is the way to go. Many companies out there have built state of the art technologies that
companies like Uber can benefit from. I suspect UBER has already taken some steps forward since then, but end goal is far from over. Ride sharing, and mobility companies need to make it their biggest priority by adopting such technologies and working with
experts and guarantee that everyone will safely get to their destination.
In the end what matters is consumers get best of service and they feel safe no matter what service they chose to use.