On past Indian trips, I've tended to use autos to get around, despite issues with haggling for a price as a foreigner. This time though, all my colleagues have told me not to bother, and to use a taxi / ride hailing app like Ola Cabs.

Using an Indian sim card which I thankfully got before the rules were tightened, I've downloaded the Ola app to my phone, and created an account. It comes up with a big exclamation mark against my account, and gives a low balance warning. Probably expected on a new account with a zero balance!

Following the prompts in the app, I tried to top up my balance. All went well with picking an amount, entering credit card details etc, but after a long wait at the end it gave me an error saying that international credit and debit cards are not accepted.

As I don't have an Indian bank account, and all my cards are issued abroad, that seems to be a pretty major problem for me...

Is there some other way to top up my account using an international card, or cash, so I can use the Ola Cabs app to book a ride this weekend?

1 Answer 1


You don't necessarily need to pay by card in Ola. You could pay in cash after your ride is over and bill is generated. Carry lower denominations of 100s and 50s, as it might get difficult to get change for 500s and above. You can also hail an Uber(provided its available in the city you're in) and pay by cash as well.

Source- I'm an Indian and frequent user of Ola/Uber

Edit- You can ignore the prompt of low balance, it won't cause any issues to have zero balance.

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