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Exclusive: Mexico’s central bank eyes Uber for mobile payment system

ACAPULCO, Mexico (Reuters) – mexican central bank is working on the ride from firm Uber Technologies Inc in a new mobile payment system in the heart of the financial inclusion strategy of the bank chief said on Friday, building on the rapprochement Amazon.com Inc .

FILE PHOTO: Mexico’s Central Bank Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon gestures during a conference at the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico (ITAM) in Mexico City, Mexico, January 11, 2018. REUTERS/Daniel Becerril

In an interview, Banco de Mexico Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon said the bank was looking for more companies on board, including San Francisco-based Uber.

The central bank has already been in contact with Amazon and his Argentine rival, MercadoLibre, on the adoption of the system, the bank’s head of payments told Reuters.

Uber in Mexico do not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The payment system, known as CoDi, customers can make payments via smartphones for free using QR-codes.

While the bank is still trying to figure out how his companies, the program will be defined as widely as possible, Diaz de Leon said.

“For us it is very important in this phase of the pilot tests to provide more information about what is CoDi and how it works, and try to take all the possible applications … it may have for different companies and different users,” said Diaz de Leon.

Mexico is the new left-wing government under President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is betting on the financial technology to help lift people out of poverty in a country where an estimated 42 million people have no bank account.

The wide acceptance of CoDi marks an important step in the financial integration strategy.

Phone-based banking is popular in other emerging markets such as China, India and Kenya, and is driven by an easy-to-use, affordable apps of their own companies.

Reporting by Stefanie Eschenbacher and Dave Graham; Writing by Julia Love; editing by Marguerita Choy, Chizu Nomiyama and Jonathan Oatis

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