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The cash-to-driver payment system, which is available for both Uber and Grab, would allow ride-sharing service operators to push the blame to their drivers if any legal problems arise, according to a Malaysian taxi company operator. In a report by The Star, Big Blue Capital founder Datuk Shamsubahrin Ismail (pictured above) said drivers of these services should “not be tricked” by the new system.

Ismail claimed that with this payment system, Uber and Grab will not have any direct involvement of the trade of service and currency in the ride. Therefore, should any unsatisfied customers take legal action against drivers, the companies will be able to push the blame solely to the drivers.

“They can say, I don’t collect the money. I am only the app provider, whoever wants to use it, use it lah [sic]. Uber and GrabCar do not want to carry the blame and responsibility of operating and shift it to the drivers. So after this, in court, the drivers will be blamed,” he said.

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The cash payment system can also expose drivers to legal issues for collecting money for a service which has yet to be licensed by the Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD), Shamsubahrin claimed.

Currently, Uber offers cash transactions to its riders in Johor Bahru and soon, in Kuala Lumpur. Penang and Ipoh are expected to follow suit, as the payment system is being tested there as well.

Grab meanwhile, has long introduced cash payments for customers using its ride-sharing services (called GrabCar previously). The company announced in November 2015 that it will accept cashless forms of payment (credit card).

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“I feel sorry for the drivers. They are being tricked by Uber because they will be the ones accepting money from the public without authority or approved licences. That becomes money laundering and Bank Negara can take action against them,” he said, adding that the central bank, SPAD and the Transport Ministry should put a stop to Uber and Grab’s operations until all the issues have been ironed out.

The road to legalising ride-sharing services like Uber and Grab have now reached a stage where the Transport Ministry has declared that its drivers will be required to obtain a Public Service Vehicle (PSV) licence. Across the Causeway, Singapore Uber and Grab drivers are required to obtain a Private Hire Car Driver’s Vocational Licence (PDVL) should they want to continue on as a driver.

What are your thoughts on the matter? For those who operate as Uber and Grab drivers, will Shamsubahrin’s statement discourage you from continuing to provide the service? Let us know in the comments below.