Hi-Tech

Ride-hailing app Grab expands into lending

Ride-hailing app Grab expands into lending

Based on reports, Grab Financial will have five major divisions/verticals: GrabPay, the company's existing digital payments platform, GrabRewards, the rewards and loyalty programme, GrabBenefits, an in-app service that offers an overview of all discounts and offers available to Grab drivers, and two new verticals - loans and lending services, and insurance. Now, in the latest such expansion, the company has announced Grab Financial, a consolidation of existing and new financial services that will see it expand into the lending and insurance businesses for the first time.

Grab, widely known as "Southeast Asia's Uber", operates services in 191 cities in eight countries, with mobile downloads totaling about 86 million.

Grab will also offer insurance policies to its 2.6 million drivers via partnership with USA -based insurer Chubb Ltd. Grab will offer loans to the underserved via a joint-venture with Credit Saison, the largest lender in Japan (the company now has about $70 million credit cards in circulation, TechCrunch reported today).

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.

This partnership will leverage Grab's datasets to provide reliable alternatives to traditional credit ratings, the company said.

This way, Grab Financial can offer alternative data points to assess credit worthiness in ways traditional credit scoring methods have not been able to, the company said.

In its early stages, the JV will focus on providing products to meet the needs of Grab drivers, agents and merchants, such as working capital loans, financing for smartphones, and consumer goods financing.




Jason Thompson, MD of GrabPay SEA.

Tan is encouraging other financial institutions to join a new joint-venture with Credit Saison Co. called Grab Financial Services Asia.

When a journalist in the room asked if Credit Saison had made any investments in Grab, Thompson replied: "That's not what we've launched".

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.

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.

Nobody has any data on them; the platform is all designed around them.


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