Southeast Asia’s Grab Moves Into Financial Services with Loans, Insurance


Rideshare company Grab, a rival of Uber based in Southeast Asia, is moving into financial services, aiming to serve those customers that might be underserved by traditional institutions in the region, company co-founder Anthony Tan announced today.

Tan made the announcement at Money 20/20 Asia, which kicked off today in Singapore. Grab will offer loans to the underserved via a joint-venture with Credit Saison, the largest lender in Japan (the company currently has about $70 million credit cards in circulation, TechCrunch reported today).

Presently, only about 27% of adults in Southeast Asia have a bank account, Bloomberg reported, citing statistics from the World Bank. Smartphone use is growing the region, however, and Grab currently has about 86 million downloads of its mobile app.

The company is now the dominant rideshare in the region, and according to reports, should soon reach a deal with Uber, where the California company would sell it operations in Southeast Asia to Grab.

Grab will also offer insurance policies to its 2.6 million drivers via partnership with U.S.-based insurer Chubb Ltd. These financial services will fall under a new dedicated unit created by the rideshare, called Grab Financial Services Asia.

Jason Thompson, GrabPay Southeast Asia managing director, said that the new services are meant for the “invisible people” – i.e., the underserved — noting in a statement to Bloomberg:

Nobody has any data on them; the platform is all designed around them. “We’ve built the largest internet platform in Southeast Asia and this is another extension of that story.

Read more at Bloomberg and TechCrunch.

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