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Image credit: AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Uber is testing a way to pay drivers instantly

The new program will help drivers avoid high-fee payday lenders.

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AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Uber is testing out a way to pay its drivers at the end of every ride, rather than once a week, which will hopefully help them avoid payday lending services charging high fees, the AP reports. Once signed up, drivers' earnings will be sent to an account from the online banking company Gobank. They won't be charged any fees as long as they access the account at least once every six months (though GoBank will charge $8.95 a month if the money sits any longer). The program will first launch in San Francisco and other cities, and it's also a direct response to a similar instant payment offering from Lyft (which requires drivers to deposit at least $50, and charges 50 cents for every transaction).

Up until now, Uber drivers who needed to get paid quickly relied on services like Clearbanc, which charges $2 a day to deposit money into an account. That quickly adds up if you work several days a week.

GoBank and its parent company Green Dot, best known for pre-paid debit cards, say that they'll be exploring similar partnerships with other companies if the Uber program is successful. And given the fast rise of the on-demand economy, there likely will be significant demand for workers to be paid more quickly.

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