- Uber and PayPal's Venmo mobile payment service partnered to offer an easier way for customers to make payments to the ride-hailing app or its food-delivery service, Uber Eats, according to a press release. The company is now the largest retailer to accept Venmo payments, per Bloomberg.
- Riders in the U.S. soon will be able to pay with a Venmo balance, linked bank account, credit card or debit card for no additional fee. Uber app users will see a "Pay With Venmo" option next to one for Apple Pay, Apple's rival mobile payment service.
- Meanwhile, Uber will become the first company to have a branded emoji in the Venmo app for customers who want to share their purchases in their Venmo feed.
A partnership between Uber and Venmo isn't much of a stretch, considering that more than 6 million payments on Venmo mentioned "Uber" in the description in the past year, the companies said in the release. By offering additional payment options, Uber appears to be smartly seeking ways to make its app easier and more useful for its massive rider base.
Venmo launched in 2009 to facilitate cash transfers between users for free, but now parent company PayPal is seeking to monetize the service with additional payment options and partnerships. While mobile payments have been slow to catch on in the U.S., Venmo is particularly popular among millennials who were early adopters of smartphone tech and digital wallets. PayPal last year introduced the Pay with Venmo option that lets the company charge retailers a transaction fee, generating revenue from the service. More than 2 million merchants now accept Venmo payments, per Bloomberg.
Venmo is feeling competitive pressures from rival services as Americans change their payment preferences from cash or credit and debit cards. Apple Pay, which comes preinstalled on every iPhone's mobile wallet, is becoming more popular, as the Apple devices become increasingly common across the U.S. The number of active Apple Pay users doubled to 127 million globally last year, according to Loup Ventures. Uber started accepting Apple Pay two years ago, but the company said the service handles only a small portion of transactions, per Bloomberg.