How can we help uber drivers be better off financially?

We worked with Uber to design, launch, and test a savings wallet for all Uber drivers.

Thanks to generous funding from BlackRock and in collaboration with Common Cents Lab.

The Problem

Uber asked us to help them design features for their new debit card that could further increase the financial health of their drivers.

According to Uber, 60% of Uber drivers go negative on their bank accounts six times a month. To help decrease the pain of money management between Uber and their bank, Uber launched a debit card – Uber Money. The hope is that drivers can avoid bank fees by using this card.

New Feature

We led Uber through a process of designing a savings wallet. We outlined all the steps a driver would have to do to make a savings deposit with the new debit card. Then, we identified the psychologies that would be more relevant for a driver when making this decision.

Our recommendations were based on two behavioral science insights:

One core insight is that people do things that are easy! We prototyped a feature that will make savings automatic via clever rules (e.g. Save my last ride today!). By making saving ‘rule based,’ drivers can worry about other things.

Second, people do things that are immediately appealing. This is called present bias. To make savings more immediately attractive, we designed a system that includes lottery-type saving or ‘prize-linked savings’.

Uber will test versions of both features and then scale the version that increases savings the most.

Our work included:

  • Doing a behavioral diagnosis on their current flow to assess the psychologies of drivers
  • Recommending design principles to guide feature creation
  • Facilitating two internal workshops for a cross functional Uber team
  • Creating multiple mockups in collaboration with the Uber design team
  • Designing the experimental conditions that could test our basic assumptions


Uber planned to launch a savings wallet to all of their drivers in 2020. Sadly, Uber had to discontinue the project in 2020, so we’re unable to report on the experiment’s findings. However, we’re proud of the work we did with Uber and hope this overview of the experiment gave you insight into the power of behavioral science to improve health, wealth, and happiness.

Irrational Labs has created a fantastic framework for thinking about behavior change and how to test it out in the wild.
Kelvin Kwong
VP of Product at Big Health

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