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Uber signs first Southeast Asian e-wallet deal with Vietnam's MoMo

HANOI (Reuters) - U.S. ride-hailing company Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] on Wednesday signed a strategic deal with Vietnamese financial technology firm MoMo to let passengers pay for rides using MoMo's e-wallet, the pair said in a statement on Wednesday.

The deal is Uber's first e-wallet partnership in Southeast Asia, home to 600 million people, and could help the firm catch up with main regional rival Grab which has its own e-wallet service.

"Vietnam is one of Uber's fastest-growing Asian markets... MoMo's five million app users already pay for utility bills, airline tickets and other services with the wallet," Uber and MoMo said in a joint statement.

Last year, Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N> and a private-equity arm of Standard Chartered PLC <STAN.L> invested a combined $28 million in "fintech" firm MoMo, offering a means of tapping into Vietnam's young, tech-savvy population.

"The partnership with Uber will open a seamless and cashless transport experience for the many Vietnamese without credit cards," MoMo Chief Operating Officer Nguyen Manh Tuong said in the statement.

(Reporting by Mai NguyenEditing by Christopher Cushing)