One of the benefits of using app-based car services like Uber and Lyft is that they can pull you out of a jam when you’re stuck in an unfamiliar neighborhood or the worst happens and you’ve lost everything except your smartphone.
Now Uber is adding another feature that could make the service a vital go-to app and it’s called Family Profiles.
Using Family Profiles gives any family the ability to share one account, allowing any member on the list to pay for rides with the Family Profile instead of their own credit card.
Much like Uber’s existing payments option, which allows you to switch between your personal credit card and a corporate account when paying for rides, Family Profiles lets you switch between your personal and family accounts with one click.
a major tool for parents looking to give their children an easy way to request and pay for a quick ride
The feature could be a major tool for some parents looking to give their younger children an easy way to request and pay for a quick ride from school in instances where that parent is unable to pick them up. Of course, the child will need a smartphone and the app. Some parents might balk at giving a young child access to a smartphone, but studies show that the number of preteen children using mobile devices is on the rise.
Once the manager of the Family Profile account manager sends out an invite, the recipient accepts the invite and can begin charging rides to the account. And, aside from giving younger children a way to use Uber to get home when you can’t pick them up yourself, the feature also offers a way for teen family members who don’t have a credit card to use Uber. In that respect, it could also be a way for parents to track the travel habits of their teens.
Similarly, it would be easy for a user to add someone like a grandmother to the account so she can have an easier way to visit you more regularly.
Setting up a Family Profile is as easy as going into the app’s Settings field, adding the option and inviting those you’re ready to allow to use the account for ride payments.
Based on Uber’s announcement on Wednesday, there’s no requirement to prove an actual familial link, so it’s conceivable that a house full of roommates could also use the Family Profile option to share the costs of using Uber as housemates.
This latest feature follows a similarly family-friendly move from the company last year when it launched uberASSIST, a program that introduced specially trained drivers to aid elderly and disabled passengers.
The company said it decided to introduce the Family Profiles feature due to customer demand. However, for now, the feature will only be available in Atlanta, Phoenix and Dallas.
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