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Uber releases API and Affiliate Program; 11 partners already onboard

Online cab service Uber has released its API for third-party app developers. The developer site already list 11 partners that have uber-logointegrated Uber’s on-demand transport service in their applications, including OpenTable, Starbucks, TripAdvisor, Time Out, and Expensify, among others.

The API will allow developers to access several features of the Uber experience. Apps will be able to list ridesharing services currently available and display pickup times. It can also be used to pass the user’s destination address to the Uber app and provide fare estimates. Developers will also be able to access the user’s trip history. The company said that more will be added to the API in the future. Developers can register their apps here.

Uber also provides a tutorial, including Server Side Authentication and OAuth. Developers can checkout a working sample application here.

Uber says it will be releasing the ‘requesting a ride’ feature, as part of its API, in a controlled manner. Initially, a select set of third-party apps will be provided access, and based on the results it will released to a wider set of developers.

Earlier this year, several features of the Uber app were integrated into Google Maps; including list of available rideshares and estimated time for trips. This feature, however, isn’t available in India yet. It’s worth noting that Google Ventures, along with TPG Capital, invested $258 million in Uber last year.

The current move is expected to further Uber’s brand awareness, and is also likely to increase volume of booked rides.

Affiliate Program

Uber has also launched its Affiliate Program, which is currently only available to developers in US. By registering the app with the Uber API Affiliate Program, apps will be able to earn $5 in Uber credit for every new rider. Uber claims that cash rewards will be added to the Affiliate Program soon.

Updated: Developers will not be allowed to use Uber API in any manner deemed competitive to Uber. Under its Terms of Use agreement, Uber mentions: “You may not use the Uber API in any manner that is competitive to Uber or the Uber Services, including in connection with any application, website or other product or service…”

Uber in India

-Last year, Uber launched its service in India, beginning with Bangalore. Initially, only the UberBLACK service was available. This year, in June Uber launched its affordable service UberX in the country.

-The credit card-only payment option that Uber offered is viewed as a limitation for the service in India. At the time of the Google Maps integration, Uber Bangalore GM Bhavik Rathod told Medianama that they are working on other payment options in India, but will stick to its cashless transactions policy.

-Recently, Uber expanded its presence in India to four new cities – Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Chandigarh and Kolkata. With this the ridesharing service is now available in a total of 10 cities in India, making India its largest market outside the US.

– Indian cab services have asked the Reserve Bank of India to look into Uber’s payment processes, specifically, recurring payments and the lack of a two factor authentication system (which is mandated for Indian payment gateways).

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