Today, Grab announced a partnership with Mastercard that will see the launch of prepaid cards tailored to Southeast Asia.
Said Reuben Lai, Senior Managing Director at Grab Financial: “This partnership goes beyond Grab issuing prepaid cards and is a game changer for Southeast Asia. We are the first e-wallet at scale from our region to be accepted worldwide.”
Not only does this solidify Grab’s position as Southeast Asia’s undisputed fintech leader, but it also enables the region’s 400 million unbanked and underserved consumers to buy goods and services online. Something that was previously limited to the less than 10 percent of Southeast Asians with a credit card.”
Added Rama Sridhar, EVP – Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows at Mastercard: “This partnership with Grab significantly advances our reach in Southeast Asia and aligns with our goal of expanding digital payments across all consumers and merchants.”
“Without changing infrastructure, we can now offer merchants the opportunity to tap into Grab’s user base of emerging middle-class consumers, covering 1 in 6 mobile phones in Southeast Asia. We are thrilled to continue to offer consumers and merchants greater payments choice and the ability to transact securely and effortlessly.”
Consumers can apply for the prepaid card from the Grab app, and will receive a virtual card in their GrabPay wallet along with a physical card enabled by NFC and EMV chip technology.
Prepaid card users would be able to top up their card in cash to “any of Grab’s 8 million ‘micro-entrepreneurs’, the drivers, agents and merchants on the GrabPay platform”, effectively also serving as ‘mobile ATMs’.
The card can be used both offline and online at any merchant in the world that accepts Mastercard.
In addition, the card can also be used as a prepaid travel card for travellers around the region.
Users will be able to top up different currencies on their card and save on transaction and exchange fees, and the physical card can be used for those “transacting in areas where connectivity is poor and for use in transit payments, such as metro fares or road tolls”.
Grab and Mastercard plan to offer the card in the first half of 2019, starting in Singapore and the Philippines.