Uber’s UPI payment option is a perplexing UX decision

I have gone through a long journey with my payments to Uber. I started with a credit card, then joined Paytm specifically for being able to use it on Uber, and have now moved using UPI-based payments on Uber. I dropped out of Paytm due to the incessant annoyance with KYC and the fact that I need to remember to add money in that wallet.

With UPI on Uber, while adding that as a payment option is very seamless, the payment part seems a bit odd to me in terms of the user experience.

The payment is initiated ONLY before I book my next cab on Uber! So, if I take an Uber ride on the 2nd of the month, the trip is completed and I get a prompt to rate the drive too at the end of the trip. But, no alert for payment!

When I search Uber for my next ride, on say the 20th of the month, the app shows cabs nearby, I select my destination and confirm the ride… and then the app alerts me that I need to pay for my past ride via UPI to be able to book this new ride!

Now, this is not a deal-breaker but seems very clunky as a user experience.

When I’m booking my ride, my first priority, and worry, is finding a cab and being able to quickly book it. And, the more time it takes, the lesser the chance of finding a cab in busier areas or on rainy/bad days. On more than one occasion, my mobile data network was spotty enough to be not able to complete the UPI transaction but was good enough for booking a ride.

Is there no other way to seek the payment via UPI in the Uber app? I checked the app settings to see if there is a way they can alert me to complete the UPI transaction at the end of the journey. Nope, no such option. Is it so difficult to include the alert to complete the transaction at any other point in the user journey (pun unintended), barring the beginning of the next ride?

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