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Ride-Hailing Giant Grab Gets Into Old-School Financial Services

13 March 2018

The newly launched app allows anyone to find a bike or an e-scooter whenever they need it. Whether that's nano-loans for working capital, the ability to buy a vehicle, actually without financial services we're going to restrict the business growth of that whole ecosystem.

GrabReward - Grab's rewards and loyalty services.

"Many in our region have no access to loans that they can use to purchase a new home or grow their small business, " Grab said in a statement.

To provide loans to consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businessess across South-east Asia, Grab has embarked on a joint venture (JV) agreement with Credit Saison Co, one of Japan's largest consumer financing companies.

By analyzing behavior and transaction data from the app such as transport movement, geo-location and GrabPay transaction data, the firm said it can offer alternative data points to asset credit worthiness, filling the gap left by traditional credit scoring methods.

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

Tan, together with GrabPay Southeast Asia Managing Director Jason Thompson, laid out his vision on Tuesday as the company tries to become a major financial services platform in the region. 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.

At the same event, Grab also announced that it had partnered up with insurance firm Chubb to provide insurance products for driver-partners and customers.

Grab Financial will offer insurance options to its 2.6 million driver-partners, underwritten by Chubb. "We've built the largest internet platform in Southeast Asia and this is another extension of that story".

Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 86 million mobile devices, offering private vehicle, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services, as well as on-demand food and delivery services across 191 cities in 8 countries in Southeast Asia.

It previously also led an investment into Shopback, the leading cashback site in Southeast Asia. However, the region is also notoriously hard for financial services providers to crack, on account of low ownership and usage of bank accounts; a 2016 KPMG study estimates that only 27 percent of the region's 600-million-strong population has a bank account.

And they may be the bigger victor behind the scenes.

Ride-Hailing Giant Grab Gets Into Old-School Financial Services