Thursday, January 02, 2014

Lyft vs. SideCar: Payment Process

Lyft and SideCar are two competing ridesharing services. For the most part, these two ridesharing companies use a completely different payment process system to pay their drivers. What are the differences in this payment structure?

Lyft and SideCar are known to many San Franciscans as ride-sharing companies competing against the taxi industry. This ride-sharing trend is taking shape rather quickly, where Lyft has already expanded into 20 American markets and is continually pressing forward. Lyft's long-term goal is to enter the international market, an expansion that could project this ride-sharing company into the stratosphere. SideCar is a smaller ride-sharing company that has a loyal user base. They may not have nearly as much business as Lyft, but their ride-sharing service is reliable enough to make noise in this sharing economy. The two ride-sharing companies use different pay models to compensate their drivers.

Lyft e-mails daily reports to their drivers. This report shows the miles driven, hours worked, time of fare, donation amount, tips, and feedback. At the end of the week, the final weekly driver summary shows a glimpse of the amount earned over this previous week. Lyft makes weekly direct deposits into the drivers accounts on Wednesday or Thursday morning. A driver will receive a finalized driver summary, which provides a breakdown of their earnings and the amount expected to be deposited.

SideCar enables their drivers to view the donation amount before accepting a request. In this amount, SideCar will take 20% to cover their administrative expenses. If a driver views a $15 fare flashing on the phone screen, the final payout for this ride is $12. The ride history shows a glimpse of the individual rides and the processing time. Once the payment becomes available, the system releases the funds and makes them available for transfer into a bank account. It takes 4 or 5 days to process the credit card payment, and then another 24 hours to deposit these funds into an approved bank account. There is a $.50 charge per payout, so try and consolidate as much of these funds as possible to limit the small fee.

What pay model do we like most? We prefer the Lyft payment schedule because a Saturday and Sunday shift will be included in the Wednesday or Thursday direct deposit. SideCar will take until Thursday and Friday to clear credit card payments for Saturday and Sunday shifts. Once the driver requests a payment, the system will process this payment and send it to the bank account on file. If a driver is not in a hurry to receive payment, then SideCar is a good choice. However, a financially strapped situation calls for a Lyft payment schedule to handle immediate needs.

Good luck ride-sharing! Happy New Year!