WASHINGTON — Have extra cash in your wallet? You can now use it to fund your Lyft rides.
On Wednesday, the rideshare company announced a new payment system that allows customers to pre-load their Lyft accounts with cash in order to pay for car rides, bikes and scooters. That means you won't actually be paying your driver directly in cash.
Under the new system, users can visit one of 35,000 partner retail locations across the country including Walmart, Walgreens and Family Dollar. There, you'll take out your Lyft app while at the cash register and show the cashier a barcode associated with your account, and the cashier can then add your desired amount of money to your Lyft balance.
“Lyft is committed to making sure more people have access to affordable, reliable transportation, and we can help achieve that by expanding payment methods for our services, said Kaushik Subramanian, Vice President of Enterprise Platforms at Lyft. "We know cash is the primary form of payment for many people, and we hope this helps people get where they need to go more easily.”
According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, 7.1 million American households in 2019 did not use a bank or had limited access to traditional financial services, and this limited access has disproportionately impacted communities of color.
“We’re excited that Lyft is working to expand the accessibility to transportation across the country, specifically for the cash-preferred and unbanked population who have often faced roadblocks when it comes to getting where they need to go," said Antoine Holman, NAACP Vice President of Corporate Relations.
The system does come with certain requirements, including a $30 minimum deposit in order to ensure that rides can be paid for. Additionally, customers who wish to use a Lyft scooter or bike will need to have an additional alternative payment method, such as a credit card, attached to their account in order to rent the vehicles.