Last year, Uber rolled out a limited demo of their new Uber Offers system, where customers were hit with ads while using the app and got rewarded handsomely for interacting fully with those ads. The way a customer would do that, of course, would be to buy something advertised using the credit card linked to their Uber account. Customers in a few test cities, such as Miami and New York City, were given the chance to earn rebates between $5 and $20 on their next ride by hitting Shake Shack, Whole Foods or Dunkin' Donuts in response to a served advertisement. The trial was a hit with users and retailers alike, leading them to roll out the first nationwide test; Uber customers can now pick up a sponsored rebate at ProFlowers, just in time for Mother's Day.
Uber Offers is managed by Visa-owned payment and ad negotiation startup TrialPay. Using TrialPay, Uber is able to verify applicable Visa purchases and provide rebates by recognizing the credit card number associated with the purchase. If Uber customers make a qualifying purchase to be delivered by May 6th from ProFlowers, they'll receive a discount on their next ride with Uber that could even render the ride free of cost. Naturally, this is only available with Visa cards. During the process of ordering, waiting for and taking an Uber ride, users may be presented with an ad that says, "We love mom, too. Tap to make her day." If they take Uber up on the offer, a full-screen ad comes up, as shown in the gallery below. Going through with it will net a rider $20 off their next ride.
While the offer is only available for flowers right now, Uber plans to score more vendor partnerships and expand their influence on where money goes before and after riders get into their cars. If the plan is completely successful, it's quite possible that most, if not all rides could be paid for by these affiliations, rather than riders having to pay out of pocket for rides. Given Uber's size and already considerable sway in the ride industry, this plan could cement their place as a titan known for excellent promos and free rides.