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Uber partners with Vietnamese mobile wallet MoMo for payments

[SINGAPORE] Uber Technologies Inc. will allow riders in Vietnam to pay for their trips using local mobile wallet MoMo, opening up its service to the millions in the country who don't have credit or debit cards.

The pact is a first for the world's most valuable startup in Southeast Asia, Uber said. Backed by Standard Chartered Private Equity and Goldman Sachs, MoMo has five million users who use the mobile wallet to pay utility bills, buy airline tickets and access other services.

Uber's move comes as local ride-hailing rivals Grab and Go-Jek push aggressively for the adoption of their own in-app digital payments platforms to hook consumers.

While Southeast Asia is home to 620 million people, many in the region have limited access to banking services and typically pay in cash.

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"Asia has a unique payment ecosystem, and we are committed to serving customers the way they like to be served," Brooks Entwistle, chief business officer of Uber Asia Pacific, said in a statement. "That means expanding payment options, and embracing mobile wallets."