Grab seeks to be largest financial service provider in Southeast Asia; launches several initiatives

Grab seeks to be largest financial service provider in Southeast Asia; launches several initiatives

Reuben Lai of Grab Financial Group
Mr Reuben Lai, Senior Managing Director of Grab Financial Group. (Photo: Grab)

SINGAPORE: Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant Grab said on Tuesday (Mar 19) that it aims to become one of the region’s largest financial services provider this year, catering to micro-entrepreneurs as well as small and medium enterprises.

Its financial services unit, Grab Financial Group, announced a roadmap which will see the rollout of several products and services starting with Singapore in the next few weeks.

These include an online check-out service that allows sellers to accept GrabPay as a mobile wallet on their website or platform. The service was launched on Tuesday with Qoo10 and 11Street, two of the largest e-commerce platforms in Singapore and Malaysia, respectively, Grab said.

GrabPay will also be integrated with point-of-sale devices at food chains such as Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, as well as Paris Baguette, it added.

A post-paid payment credit option, Pay Later, will also be launched in Singapore before being rolled out in other countries.

This follows the announcement by Grab Financial Services Asia last March of a joint venture with Japan’s Credit Saison to expand access to credit for Southeast Asia’s unbanked.

Pay Later will initially allow customers to pay for Grab services at the end of each month, before expanding to allow for instalment payments at zero per cent interest over several months, Grab said.

It will only be offered to its “most creditworthy customers”, with credit ratings based on several criteria including their time spent on the Grab platform, frequency of use and spending patterns, it added.

There will be penalties for creditors who fail to repay their loans on time, Grab said, without going into further details.

In addition, Grab will launch an insurance marketplace in April targeted at micro-entrepreneurs.

As a start, two new products aimed at its drivers will be made available through the Grab app: prolonged medical leave insurance and basic insurance coverage top ups.

“We are doubling down on our financial services offering for micro-entrepreneurs with Grow with Grab. This is a huge untapped opportunity for Grab Financial to support the region’s entrepreneurs who are less able to access traditional financial institutions,” said Mr Reuben Lai, senior managing director of Grab Financial Group. 

“While SMEs contribute more than 50 per cent of ASEAN’s GDP, two-thirds of SMEs cite business funding and financing as their biggest problem. The Grab app has served more than nine million micro-entrepreneurs over the last six years. 

"As a result, we can leverage our scale and data insights to bring financial services products to market at a more competitive price point than anyone else.”

Source: CNA/na

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