Green Dot Expands Uber Venture for Instant Pay to Drivers

  • Philip Ryan
  • May 5, 2016
  • 1

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / logoboomPrepaid card issuer Green Dot, which announced a partnership with Uber to provide bank accounts to drivers last March, announced an addition to its Instant Pay functionality yesterday.

Green Dot sells its own brand of prepaid cards and provides the backend for the Walmart Moneycard. But it is also a bank, and offers full-featured bank accounts for consumers and small businesses under its GoBank label. Green Dot launched a custom build of GoBank for Uber drivers in March and the program, according to CEO Steve Streit, is already seeing positive results.

San Francisco-based Uber has $9 billion in funding and a valuation north of $60 billion.

The GoBank Uber account offers instant funding from rides to users’ GoBank accounts, meaning the money from a completed ride will be instantly available in the user’s account. Drivers, in other words, can cash out whenever they like.

On yesterday’s earnings call, Green Dot CEO Steve Streit announced that this functionality will soon be expanded to provide instant funding to any linked account, provided the receiving bank supports instant transfers. Here’s Streit:

Next, I’m pleased to let you know that Green Dot has entered into another new deal with Uber to extend Instant Pay functionality to debit cards issued by any bank. This is in addition to the Uber GoBank partnership we announced previously. When launched, this feature will allow driver partners to get their earnings instantly deposited to their GoBank checking account if they’ve chosen that or now to their existing bank account. To serve the partners of tomorrow, you have to have the financial technology of tomorrow. We’re proud to help Uber to serve their driver partners, while Uber’s helping Green Dot achieve our business and revenue goals.

This appears to signal a deeper integration with the Uber app, as it does not require that drivers have a GoBank account. We have reached out to Green Dot to confirm and will update this post if appropriate. Lyft announced similar functionality for its drivers, called Express Pay, back in Dec. 2015. Separately, Uber has recently created an integration with Chinese payments company Alipay, but that integration is for retail functionality.

The GoBank Uber account began as a pilot with drivers in San Francisco and has since spread to New York and other cities. Uber is huge — some estimates put the number of active drivers in the U.S. as high as 400,000, though Uber’s last publicly released figure was around 160,000 — but Green Dot is looking to expand the Uber model to other companies. “Our sales team is currently in conversations with other 1099 employers for similar types of programs,” Streit told investors.

How well is the Uber deal doing for Green Dot? Here’s Streit:

If you think about GoBank Uber, that’s been out there now for a month or so, and it’s going quite well, but we haven’t disclosed statistics on it, and if we do, we’ll let you know at that point. But I guess the short answer is that, it’s trending better. It’s doing nicely year-over-year with good double-digit growth numbers, but we could have – but I didn’t think to call it out this quarter, because we had so much other stuff going on.

Streit also noted that GoBank, which an investor indicated earned the company about $11 annually per customer, was “doing much better this year, than last year. But in terms of its total size, it’s not material of the overall accounts that we issue at Walmart or any other retailer.”

Green Dot Money, Green Dot’s loan matchmaking service, will launch in May, ahead of schedule, Streit said. Green Dot collects a 10% fee from every loan originated through the platform. Green Dot also announced a deal to provide prepaid cards for benefits to Member Benefits Corporation, which serves labor unions.

Green Dot stock [ticker: GDOT] was trading 1.85% higher at 2:15 pm ET today.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at

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