Two popular mobile services are moving closer together. Ride hailing service Uber said on Thursday that it was adding an option in its apps for customers to pay directly with PayPal’s Venmo service.
The feature rolling out in coming weeks will allow users to pay for food in the Uber Eats app and for rides in the main Uber app via Venmo, with money drawn from a balance left in the app or an associated credit or debit card or bank account. A Venmo user can also split the amount due among other users.
The move comes as the race over mobile payments is heating up. PayPal (PYPL) and Venmo last month announced the app was creating a physical debit card for users that would work in any store that accepted credit cards. Google (GOOGL) this week said it was adding peer to peer payments sending capability, a core Venmo feature that’s also the main draw of Zelle, a mobile payments app created by major banks.
Uber is locked in a battle with its main rival, Lyft, as ride hailing apps continue to take market share from the taxi industry. Both services have long accepted Venmo rival Apple Pay in their apps. They’ve also been adding new methods of travel, investing in bike rental and scooter services.
Uber said many of its users were already using Venmo to split the cost of rides, noting that about six million Venmo payments over the past year mentioned Uber. “With so many of our riders and eaters already turning to Venmo as a way to pay a friend back for that last ride or meal, we’re proud to have built a seamless, easy-to-use connection between our apps,” Marco Mahrus, Uber’s head of payment partnerships, said in a statement.