Enhancing financial stabilty for ride-hailing drivers

Starting March 2021, the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Lab and Beat have been working together to establish new ways through which tech mobility apps can facilitate access to saving mechanisms for independent workers. This will enable them to have voluntary access to pension funds and/or social security, depending on the market. The joint effort was initially launched in four Latin American countries: Colombia, Chile, Mexico and Peru, and reinforces the digital transformation pillar of Vision 2025 of the IDB’s pathway to promote economic recovery in the region. 

The IDB, IDB Lab and Beat conducted an in-depth survey to understand the preferences, needs, and motivations of around 5,000 drivers across the region. This exercise provided relevant insights on the highly important role that ride-hailing plays on the reactivation of the economy. 

These survey results, conducted in June 2021, are a first step to assessing future pilot programs for Beat drivers.

Sociodemographic characteristics:

96% Male

41 Average Age

31% Tertiary Education

Due to the current global economic and social setback caused by the covid-19 pandemic, mobility apps like Beat have increasingly become more relevant for the well-being of local communities, as a flexible and effective alternative to generate income for many car owners who lost their jobs or have lower earnings. In Latin America, ride-hailing apps have become a source of additional income for people with a wide range of occupations and employment status, all of whom value the flexibility of the gig-economy.

According to self-reported information by Beat drivers, drivers’ occupations differ:

35% Independent

20% No additional economic activity

12% Part-time employment

11% Full-time employment

Beat provides a solution for those who have lost their jobs or have lower earnings because of the pandemic. Due to local socio-economic conditions in LatAm, 48% of drivers use Beat as “unemployment insurance”, meaning an opportunity for independent work when coping with adverse economic situations.

Recognizing the opportunity to keep providing alternatives aligned with the needs of platform drivers through innovation and in a sustainable manner, the IDB, IDB Lab and Beat are excited to announce the kick off of market-specific interventions, which will entail collaboration with authorities and local stakeholders.

“Mobility platforms, such as Beat, have become a great alternative to generate income, particularly during times of crisis as seen during the pandemic. From survey results, we know that independent workers on these platforms value the additional income they generate, the flexibility that the platform offers, as many of them are not looking for a full-time job. Thus, we are looking for social security schemes, including pension saving schemes, that will help these workers navigate risks without losing that flexibility,” comments Oliver Azuara, Senior Economist for IDB’s Labor Markets Division. 

“Beat’s mission is to build technology for a better urban life and we want to become part of people’s daily lives by making mobility affordable and efficient, and by offering economic opportunities for anyone, which is crucial in the context of Covid-19. Through this unique regional partnership with the IDB’s team of experts, we seek to improve the understanding of the impact that we have in our local communities in Latin America and implement solutions that efficiently address the needs of the drivers who use our app,” highlights Gonzalo Escribano, Public Policy Head for Beat LatAm. 

Beat, IDB and IDB Lab open opportunities to develop joint interventions between platforms, governments, and international organisations to work together to improve the lives of people in LatAm through technology and the gig economy. We are proud  to highlight that 57% of the drivers would be interested in automatically saving part of their income generated through Beat.


About Beat
Beat creates a new ride experience by connecting thousands of passengers with nearby available drivers in real-time. Through the app, you can request a driver 24/7. Beat is more than an app that takes you from A to B. We exist to build technology for a better urban life, to become part of people’s life by making transportation in the city more affordable, efficient and safe, while providing economic opportunities to anyone. The company was founded in 2011 and is part of the FREE NOW group, the ride-hailing joint venture of BMW and Daimler. Beat is currently available in Greece, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, with plans to expand to more cities in Latin America, and has a Tech Innovation and Engineering Hub in The Netherlands.

About IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. Besides loans, grants and guarantees, the IDB conducts cutting-edge research to offer innovative and sustainable solutions to our region’s most pressing challenges. Founded in 1959 to help accelerate progress in its developing member countries, the IDB continues to work every day to improve lives.

About IDB Lab
IDB Lab is the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group. IDB Lab promotes development through the private sector by identifying, supporting, testing and piloting new solutions to development challenges and seeking to create opportunities for the poor and vulnerable populations in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).