(Credit: Uber)

Uber announced today that you'll soon be able to use Venmo as a payment option for Uber and Uber Eats, making it easier in theory to split the cost of a ride or food delivery with your friends. You'll be able to use an existing Venmo balance, debit card, or bank account. Credit cards were notably absent from the list.

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The update to the Uber and Uber Eats apps will go out to Android and iPhones in the U.S. "in the coming weeks," Uber said. Other regions of the world were not mentioned.

In addition, Uber will be delivering a custom set of Venmo emojis when the feature reaches the general public, in the event that you don't have a way with words. The emojis themselves were not revealed, so we'll be waiting with bated breath to see just how we'll be able to express our love for both Chinese takeout and split checks.

Why are Venmo and Uber collaborating?

Venmo is fighting a war against Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal -- giants with more established brands and deeper pockets. Google announced just a few days ago that it's integrating peer-to-peer payments into Google Pay, which used to happen in its separate Google Pay Send app. Google Pay will also get support for storing boarding passes and concert tickets, to bring it more in line with Apple Pay, which is the market leader for contactless payments.

Peer-to-peer payments are Venmo's specialty, so Google's announcement raises the stakes, even though the function technically existed in a different Google app.

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Uber Eats, meanwhile, is arguably the most popular food delivery app around, despite the corporate culture issues that the company has experienced in recent years. Given Uber Eats' comfortable position in the food delivery market, Venmo probably needs them more than they need Venmo.

But if Venmo doesn't team up with others, it risks becoming a one-trick pony versus the vertically integrated shops that Google and Apple continue to improve on and expand. The more you can keep people in your app from one end of a purchase to the other, the less a specialized app like Venmo can work its way into the chain of transactions.

Takeaways

  1. Venmo, the app that lets you send and receive money for things like splitting a check or pooling some beer money, is getting added to Uber and Uber Eats as a payment option "in the coming weeks.
  2. You're also going to get a special batch of Uber-themed emojis created in collaboration with Venmo.

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Tom is the senior editor covering Windows at Download.com.