Grab, the ride sharing platform we are all familiar with, has become a little more unfamiliar to us with the launch of its new product.
Earlier today, Grab announced the launch of Grab Financial, the “fintech platform within the Grab ecosystem”.
The news follows the announcement of GrabCycle, the first pilot project under GrabVentures. The newly launched app allows anyone to find a bike or an e-scooter whenever they need it.
According to the press release, Grab Financial will encompass all of Grab’s fintech offerings, including payments services, rewards and loyalty services, agent network services and now also financial services.
Here’s what we understand of Grab Financial.
It consists of:
- GrabPay – Grab’s payment services.
- GrabReward – Grab’s rewards and loyalty services.
- GrabBenefits – An in-app view of all discounts and offers negotiated for drivers
- (NEW) Loans and lending services
- (NEW) Insurance
What’s new with Grab Financial is the addition of loan and insurance services to individuals around in Southeast Asia.
Through Grab Financial, consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses across Southeast Asia now have an additional channel where they can have access to unsecured loans.
Grab Financial Services Asia, puts in place a much-needed infrastructure that will accelerate financial inclusion in Southeast Asia.
“Many in our region have no access to loans that they can use to purchase a new home or grow their small business. GFSA is building a reliable alternative to traditional credit scoring methods that is customised for the unbanked majority of consumers and small businesses in Southeast Asia, which will create economic opportunity for millions across the region,” said Jason Thompson, Managing Director, GrabPay Southeast Asia.
The new venture will also look at offering credit scoring services to financial firms who can use the information to provide other services such as virtual credit cards.
The loan capability is possible thanks to the joint venture between Grab Financial and Credit Saison, one of Japan’s largest consumer financing companies.
On the other hand, the insurance capability of Grab Financial is done through a partnership with Chubb, the world’s largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company.
Grab Financial will offer insurance options to its 2.6 million driver-partners, underwritten by Chubb.
Beyond that, we can also expect Grab Financial to introduce new insurance products catered to the digital audience in Southeast Asia.
Grab’s FinTech Ambition
Grab, which started as a taxi-hailing app firm and competes with Uber, has been expanding into financial services over the last two years by acquiring companies and forming partnerships to push for the usage of its mobile wallet.
Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 86 million mobile devices, offering private car, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services, as well as on-demand food and delivery services across 191 cities in 8 countries in Southeast Asia.
It is also interesting to note that through this joint venture with Grab to form Grab Financial, Credit Saison is further establishing itself as a strong player in the fintech space in Southeast Asia.
It previously also led an investment into Shopback, the leading cashback site in Southeast Asia.
With both the involvement with Grab and Shopback, arguably two of the most used consumer platforms in Southeast Asia, Credit Saison will have access to consumer habits, spending behaviours as well as financial insights of the Southeast Asia population.
And they may be the bigger winner behind the scenes.