Uber's next business idea: Lending money to drivers

The company has started to poll drivers on their interest in a new financial product

Uber is reportedly looking into offering loans directly to drivers, according to a report from Recode. The ridesharing company recently sent out an in-app survey to some drivers that indicated the company is starting to build a "new financial product" designed to help Uber drivers "in a time of need." The survey contained a number of questions regarding the driver's previous use and future interest in loans.

The survey reportedly asked drivers if they have taken out any small loans of $1,000 or less in the last three years. It also asked "If Uber provided loans, what amount are you most likely to request?" The question offered drivers answers including "Less than $100," "Between $100 and $250," "Between $250 and $500" and "More than $500." It's not clear when or if the loan service will be available to drivers. Uber has not publicly commented on the survey.

If Uber does opt to launch a loan product, it won't be the first time the company has dabbled in such services. The company previously offered cash advance programs to drivers in California and Michigan, but came under fire from consumer advocates who believed the program bore some resemblance to payday loans. The company also previously offered leases on new cars to drivers.

This story originally appeared on Engadget.

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