Uber Eats introducing AI assistant, new payment methods

Uber Eats AI assistant
Uber Eats is releasing an AI-based shopping assistant.

The online delivery platform of Uber Technologies Inc. is trying to enhance its customer experience with several new features.

Uber Eats is currently providing or will soon roll out four new customer-facing digital offerings – an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, sales aisle functionality, SNAP/EBT payments, and health benefit payments.

A brief synopsis of each new feature follows.

AI assistant

Uber Eats is in the process of introducing a new AI-based conversational shopping assistant. Later this year, customers will be able to chat with the AI assistant to explore new food products, find deals on restaurants, and more easily reorder favorite meals.

In the near future, the AI assistant will also streamline customer activities such as meal planning, finding sales on grocery items, and more quickly ordering ingredients for recipes within a set budget. 

Sales aisle

Using the soon-to-released digital Uber Eats Sales Aisle tool, customers will have quick access to a curated selection of nearby savings and discount opportunities. The Sales Aisle feature will combine promotions and deals into one digital space, eliminating the need to conduct searches through the app. 

EBT/SNAP payments

Uber Eats will begin accepting payments from the Federal Electronic Benefits Transfer and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (EBT/SNAP) program, popularly known as food stamps, in 2024. Rival on-demand delivery platforms including Instacart and DoorDash also accept EBT/SNAP payments.

“We know that online food delivery can have a meaningful impact in reducing barriers to fresh groceries, especially for the most vulnerable–including people living in food deserts, seniors, and those facing disabilities or transportation barriers,” Therese Lim, senior director of product, Uber Eats New Verticals and Uber Direct, said in a corporate blog post. “Helping to improve access to quality food is incredibly important to our work at Uber and we’re proud to use Uber’s technology and extensive local delivery networks to offer SNAP recipients the ability to use their benefits to access fresh groceries conveniently from our app in 2024.

Healthcare Benefit Payments

Uber Eats isa working with the Managed Medicaid and Medicare Advantage federal health benefit plans to support benefits by accepting FSA Cards, Flex Cards, and relevant waiver payments on Uber. Select payment methods will be ready in 2024.

“This is yet another way we are simplifying how people can access healthy foods and connect with their local grocers in new ways,” Lim said in the blog post.

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