Why can't Uber payments be processed locally?

Uber's South-east Asia spokesman Karun Arya ("No control over banks' fees: Uber"; last Friday) has not addressed Mr Krishnamani Kannan's question of why Uber is processing local transactions overseas ("Why is Uber processing local payment overseas?"; last Thursday).

Mr Arya merely states that it is common for multinationals to run parts of their operations in various parts of the world, without explaining why the processing of payment cannot be run out of Singapore, like another app-based taxi service, Grab, does ("Riding with Uber? Read fine print on extra charges"; last Friday).

Uber could come to an arrangement with Visa and/or MasterCard to absorb the processing charges and then pass the charges on to its customers.

In this case, customers will know the bill they receive is the final sum they will pay, with no other fees.

Merely having fine print on the receipt saying banks may levy additional charges is also not right, as by the time the customer sees the receipt, it is too late for him to void the transaction. Uber should make it known more clearly to commuters that they may be paying more than the fare charged.

Kenny Thong Choong Hung

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 02, 2016, with the headline 'Why can't Uber payments be processed locally?'. Print Edition | Subscribe