Last week, Grab Malaysia announced that it will be mandatory for all passengers to submit a selfie before using its services.
“The selfie is for identity verification, safety and may be used to assist the authorities when required,” Grab said on its website.
‘Selfie verification’ was reported to have been instrumental in the investigation of the murder of a Grab rider in May.
This technology also helped authorities arrest two suspects involved in a recent robbery and murder of a Grab driver.
In a report by The Star, Grab said that it provided information to the police, “including a photo of the suspect, and the necessary information from its passenger selfie verification feature built into its app”.
Taking a selfie is a one-time process and will be used to verify a passenger’s identity for future rides.
It’s not just Malaysian riders who are covered by this new rule – according to a report by The Straits Times, a Grab spokesperson confirmed that Singaporeans using the app in Malaysia will also be affected.
“Singaporeans will be required to do a selfie verification while using Grab in Malaysia. This is mandatory as part of Malaysia’s regulatory requirements,” shared a Grab spokesperson.
What many might not know is that while verification via users’ Facebook accounts or credit cards was introduced back in October 2018, selfie verification for riders in Singapore was launched in February 2019.
Longtime Grab users in Singapore might not have noticed the implementation because only new users signing up from February 2019 needed to submit their selfies to open their accounts.
“We will continue to review and develop more initiatives and features to ensure that Grab is a trusted platform for all users,” shared a Grab spokesperson in an email to us.
Verify Your Identity Via MyInfo
Last Friday, Grab also announced the launch of new user verification feature on its GrabPay wallet in partnership with the Government Technology Agency of Singapore (GovTech).
Under the partnership, users will be able to authorise the retrieval of personal data from MyInfo, a digital identity service from GovTech, to complete the verification process necessary to use GrabPay.
This move comes after GrabPay became a relevant stored value facility (SVF) which is licensed and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
This also means that as a regulated e-wallet under MAS, Grab needs to perform customer identity verification on GrabPay users in a process called Know Your Customer (KYC).
Upon verification, GrabPay users will get to enjoy enhanced financial and payment services, all within their Grab app.
One enhanced service includes an increased annual transaction limit from S$5,000 to S$30,000.
Soon, users will also be able to enjoy the benefits of the upcoming launch of Grab x Mastercard prepaid cards, which will enable customers to use their Grab wallets across Southeast Asia at both offline and online merchants.
There will also be a wallet-to-wallet remittance product launched on Grab that will allow users to remit money instantly to recipients in the Philippines and other countries that use GrabPay wallets.
Said Gary Wong, Head of GrabPay Singapore: “Today, three-quarters of our customers use GrabPay daily and close to 9,000 merchants accept GrabPay as a payment option.”
“As we roll out more services and give our users more reasons to go cashless, we know that it is important to ensure that they can do it with a peace of mind. The new user verification feature will help to further strengthen GrabPay’s security.”
Added Kwok Quek Sin, Senior Director, National Digital Identity, GovTech: “We are excited that Grab has taken the opportunity to integrate MyInfo into its GrabPay, joining more than 40 industry partners that have done so with their digital products and services. We are also currently discussing with businesses in other sectors, and look forward to work with them and bring greater convenience to citizens.”
The new feature will be progressively rolled out and will be available to all users by end June 2019.