robberies of drivers in Brazil force Uber to canada goose replica rethink cash strategy

SAO PAULO (Reuters) On a Thursday night last September, Uber driver Osvaldo Luis Modolo Filho accepted a ride request from a teenage couple on the eastern edge of Sao Paulo, to be paid in cash.

A few blocks from Canada Goose Jackets their destination, the passengers who hailed the ride on the Uber app with a false name drew two blue handled kitchen knives. They repeatedly stabbed the 52 year old driver and drove away with his black SUV buy canada goose jacket as he lay bleeding in the road. Two of his fatal wounds were so deep police would first mistake them for bullet holes.

Police later found the car, arrested the couple and accused them of murder in the service of car theft. They are awaiting sentencing and lawyers for both have vowed to appeal.

Uber said Modolo Filho was its first driver to be murdered in Brazil. He would not be the last. Police have confirmed six murders since his death, with local press reporting more than a dozen.

A Reuters analysis of crime data obtained by public information request canada goose from Sao Paulo state security secretariat showed a canada goose outlet toronto factory spike in robberies involving Uber drivers since July, when the company started accepting cash payments in the city, raising questions inside the company as to why it did not act faster to address the problem.

Traditionally, Uber has charged rides to credit cards registered by users, offering an easy way to verify passengers and track them down if canada goose black friday sale needed. It changed Canada Goose sale that policy across Brazil last year, allowing customers to pay with cash to turbo charge growth in a crucial topcanadagoose new market.

Demand took off, but so did crime. In Sao Paulo, robberies involving Uber drivers rose ten fold, the data shows. Attacks rose from an average of 13 per month in the first seven months of 2016, reflecting some degree of danger even before the cash optiontook cheap Canada Goose effect, to 141 per month in the rest of the year, the data shows.

The crime data obtained by Reuters covers Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 2016 and shows all incidents of robberies involving taxi and Uber drivers. It contains some margin for error as it potentially includes attacks on passengers.

Police told Reuters the number of attacks on Uber drivers could be much higher given it is a new service and many incidents Canada Goose Coats On Sale were likely registered in the system without mentioning the app by name.

Drivers and police told Reuters the cash policy has provided easy targets for criminals, allowing them to open accounts under fake names, without credit 2018 canada goose outlet cards Canada Goose Online to verify, and lure drivers into canada goose coats ambushes.

Presented with the findings, Uber declined to give monthly details of canada goose store ride growth in Sao Paulo but acknowledged it has seen an increase in incidents without saying by Canada Goose online how much. Uber said it was not clear if rising crime was due to the cash policy or the surge in business, which was boosted by the cash option. Uber added its Sao Paulo operations grew by 15 times over the course of 2016. The company said it is now taking steps to make cash rides safer, such as verifying users with a commonly used social security number.

Getting cash payments right in Brazil is a crucial test for Uber as it Canada Goose Outlet pushes canada goose clearance beyond developed markets, seeking faster growth in poorer countries, where credit cards are less common and public safety more precarious.

Drivers around the country have staged proteststhreatening to quit if Uber does not reduce the risk of crime, while taxi drivers and elected officials have pounced on isolated incidents as evidence of a need for more restrictive legislation.

So far, Uber business in Brazil is booming. At least 30 percent of its canadian goose jacket rides in the country are now paid in cash and the rate is far higher in poor areas where credit cards are less common, according to two company sources. In Sao Paulo, cash accounts for most trips in outer boroughs, and the sources said it helped the city overtake New York and Tokyo in recent months to become Uber biggest market by rides.

But a dozen current and former managers and drivers criticized how Uber introduced cash in Brazil, saying the San Francisco based tech giant overlooked high levels of violent crime as it rushed to grow in an unfamiliar market. Senior executives now admit publicly that canada goose clearance sale the company was slow to introduce simple fixes once the dangers in Brazil were clear.

SLOW TO RESPOND As recently as October, Uber denied there was a problem with cash payments in Brazil. Andrew Macdonald, general manager for the region, said that the company had studied if cash endangered drivers and found it did Canada Goose Parka not.

they worried, it a bit emotional, he said in an interview with Bloomberg at the time.

Uber drivers sit in their cars as they wait for passengers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 13, 2017. REUTERS/Nacho Doce

One source involved in the cash roll out at Uber told Reuters the internal studywas conducted too soon after cash was introduced, undermining its conclusions.

the numbers that cash was bringing in, no one wanted to see that there might be a problem, the person said, asking not to be named given the sensitivity of the matter.

Macdonald acknowledged to Reuters on Friday his statement was mistake and said Uber had been working on ways to improve safety around cash payments since fall last year. He declined to explain what had changed since the initial internal study.

He added the violence pretty heavily on him and other senior click over here management, and that the company was rolling out new features to protect drivers.

The requirement for new cash users to register with a social security number known as a CPF went live across Brazil on Monday, six days after Reuters sent detailed questions about attacks on drivers and Uber slow response.

Macdonald said he was confident the new feature would help to reduce buy canada goose jacket cheap security issues and he wished the change had come faster.

would have been ideal for canada goose deals us to have gotten the CPF verification out sooner, and so we absolutely own that, Macdonald said.

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Macdonald added Uber was also looking at giving drivers the chance to opt out of accepting cash, which the company is piloting in some cities in Brazil and Chile, along with an algorithm blocking new cash users if they show odd behavior such as canceling several rides.

has been a priority for us since the end canada goose coats on sale of last year, Macdonald said, adding it was a concern for Uber globally canada goose outlet store locations as it pushes into poorer regions to fuel growth.