GoBank for Uber is a flashy new bank account for Uber drivers that allows, among other things, instant payment for rides. This means Uber drivers can “cash out” fares for rides as soon as they’re concluded and the money lands right in their accounts.
But this account is not available to all drivers, specifically drivers in Uber’s Xchange Leasing program. Xchange, launched in July 2015, enables those who do not own cars drive for Uber, and connects them to loan or lease providers and collects payments. Since Xchange drivers are not already auto owners, they are potentially more financially stressed, and the program has attracted criticism for its terms.
One of those terms is that money is auto-deducted from their accounts on a weekly basis. Instant pay from GoBank could mean the money is not waiting in the account to be deducted. The Consumerist noted Xchange customers pay higher rates than typical borrowers, adding, “In addition to partnering with dealerships, Xchange handles advertisements to drivers, manages risks, and pays repo men to collect vehicles when drivers stop making payments.” In May, Bloomberg described Xchange as a program “where almost anyone can get a car.”
An Uber spokesman described Xchange Leasing as providing “new and more flexible options for drivers who weren’t finding products that met their needs with traditional auto financing.”
GoBank, a product of prepaid card platform Green Dot, is itself a product that appeals to subprime customers. It is offered solely at Walmart stores, and operates much as a prepaid card does, with cash reloads and the like, but is a full-featured bank account. Green Dot has recently offered accounts to so-called on-demand workers, with its marquee partner being Uber.