FinTech Executive Monica Eaton-Cardone Discusses Uber's Push Into Fintech

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Ride-sharing giant Uber is expanding its financial services efforts with a newly hired team in New York. FinTech executive Monica Eaton-Cardone says the move is intended to further integrate payments into Uber’s business.

An acclaimed entrepreneur, speaker and author, Monica Eaton-Cardone is widely recognized as a thought leader in the FinTech industry and a champion of women in technology

Monica Eaton-Cardone, FinTech executive, shares her thoughts on Uber's move into FinTech.

“In essence it’s a move to integrate payments further into the business by eliminating the middleman in the form of payments processors."

During a recent recruitment event, Uber announced plans to accelerate the growth of its sideline business in financial products by opening a new fintech office. Uber intends to hire a number of product managers and engineers between now and the end of 2019 for a New York City-based corps of employees[1]. Monica Eaton-Cardone, an entrepreneur and IT executive specializing in risk management and fraud prevention, said that Uber’s move into financial services mirrors what other companies including Amazon have done in recent years. Uber’s primary goals are to encourage customer loyalty within its rideshare and food delivery businesses and help contractors manage earnings, Eaton-Cardone said.

“In essence it’s a move to integrate payments further into the business by eliminating the middleman in the form of payments processors,” she said

Among the potential beneficiaries of Uber’s expanded fintech activity could be participants in the gig economy. According to a job posting for a new engineering manager, Uber is interested in helping its network of independent contractors better manage their money. While it is estimated that as many as 20 percent of the full-time U.S. labor force will consist of short-term independent contractors by 2020, few traditional financial institutions offer services specifically tailored to this population’s needs. Uber, which already has a program in place to help its drivers and food deliverers access an individual retirement account or Roth IRA, would be well positioned to offer further financial services to its own workers[2].

In addition to helping it compete for labor with Lyft, another rideshare company that already offers a rewards debit card and no-fee bank account to its drivers, Uber’s move into fintech could reduce the amount of money spent on fees for processing credit card transactions. While it has not disclosed the size of its credit card processing outlay for 2018 (during which time the company accepted $43.5 billion in credit card charges), Uber’s outlay for credit card processing was $749 million in 2017, 62 percent above the $461 million total for 2016[3].

“Uber’s end game may be to establish financial services and fintech as a separate arm of the company, as Asian rideshare firms like Ola and Grab have done[4],” says Eaton-Cardone, who serves as chief information officer (CIO) of Global Risk Technologies and chief operating officer (COO) of Chargebacks911. “From a business perspective, it could make a lot of sense. I think the main obstacle will be getting customers to engage. Brands are essentially asking buyers to transition to a new payments model where they keep multiple, decentralized bank accounts with different retailers. The challenge to Uber and other U.S. companies will be to overcome consumer skepticism. While American consumers love convenience, they’re generally not willing to hand over as much data as might be required.”

Monica Eaton-Cardone frequently discusses fraud prevention, financial technology and security best practices at industry conferences and events. She has been a featured panelist at TRUSTECH, the IATA World Financial Symposium and TRANSACT, and is also available for interviews, panelist opportunities and future speaking engagements. She attended the Women in Stem Conference 2019 on May 22 in London. For more information, visit http://monicaec.com.

About Monica Eaton-Cardone:
An acclaimed entrepreneur, speaker and author, Monica Eaton-Cardone is widely recognized as a thought leader in the FinTech industry and a champion of women in technology. She established her entrepreneurial credentials upon selling her first business at the age of 19. When a subsequent eCommerce venture was plagued by revenue-leeching chargebacks and fraud, Eaton-Cardone rose to the challenge by developing a robust solution that combined human insight and Agile technology. Today, her innovations are used by thousands of companies worldwide, cementing her reputation as one of the payment industry’s foremost experts in risk management, chargeback mitigation and fraud prevention. As CIO of Global Risk Technologies and COO of Chargebacks911, Eaton-Cardone leverages her global platform to educate merchants on best practices in fraud prevention and to spotlight the competitive and economic advantages women can bring to the technology workforce. Her nonprofit organization, Get Paid for Grades, invests in students to inspire a new generation of innovators. Get to know Eaton-Cardone at http://monicaec.com.

1. Sun, Hugh, and Rooney, Kate, “Uber is making a fintech push with a New York hiring spree,” CNBC, June 10, 2019.
2. Neal, Ryan W., “As Uber sets sights on fintech, it could bring retirement saving and advice to the gig economy,” Investment News, June 12, 2019.
3. Green, Rachel, “Uber is assembling a fintech team in New York City,” Business Insider, June 12, 2019.
4. Detrixhe, John, “Uber is pivoting to fintech, something Asian startups have been doing for years,” Quartz, June 12, 2019.

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