Visa has invested in Indonesian ride-hailing firm Go-jek, as the two companies look to collaborate on digital payments across Southeast Asia.

Both Go-jek and Visa will work together to provide greater options for cashless payments across the region, according to a joint statement by the companies. Visa’s investment amount or stake in Go-jek was not disclosed.

Visa is also an investor in Grab, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Go-jek currently operates Go-Pay, a digital wallet which users can top up to pay for a variety of services including rides, mobile phone credits and bills.

Users can also send money to one another, and withdraw their balances to their bank accounts.

“GO-PAY and Visa share a collective vision of enabling convenient and seamless transactions for consumers across socio-economic groups,” said Aldi Haryopratomo, chief executive of Go-Pay. “Having driven the adoption of digital payments in Indonesia to improve incomes and lives, we are delighted to work with Visa to collaborate on further expanding our solutions to consumers across Southeast Asia.”

The Go-jek and Visa tie-up comes months after Singapore-based ride-hailing rival Grab partnered with Mastercard to launch prepaid cards for its users across Southeast Asia.

Gojek steps up fraud prevention measures to clamp down on 'middlemen'

Users have the option of using either a virtual or physical prepaid Mastercard issued via Grab’s app to pay for products and services online at any merchant that accepts Mastercard as a payment method, and a launch is expected for the second half of this year.

Companies like Grab and Go-jek are among a slew of tech start-ups and firms that are hoping to use technology to promote financial inclusion and digital payments across Southeast Asia, a region of over 600 million people where large swathes of the population do not have bank accounts or are underserved by financial institutions.

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By increasing the use of digital wallets and payments, users who previously used only cash and were not served by banks will be brought online, and in the process be able to establish a digital financial record that could eventually help them obtain lines of credit at banks.

This article was first published in South China Morning Post. 



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