Ride hailing app Grab launches financial services unit

Ride hailing app Grab launches financial services unit

South East Asian ride-hailing firm Grab has moved deeper into financial services with the launch of a dedicated unit and the introduction of micro-loans and insurance products.

Grab Financial will encompass all of Grab’s fintech offerings, including payments services, rewards and loyalty services, agent network services and now also financial services.

Grab has been progressively developing its capabilities in financial services, acquiring Indonesian e-commerce company Kudo in April 2017 and launching a P2P mobile wallet in November.

The reveal of Grab Financial was accompanied by the announcement of a joint venture agreement with Credit Saison, one of Japan’s largest consumer financing companies, to launch Grab Financial Services Asia which will provide loans and lending services to unbanked and underbanked consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses across Southeast Asia.

Grab Financial Services Asia taps into the firm's huge cache of customer data gathered from the Grab app, which processes over a billion transactions annually, to provide an alternative resource for measuring credit ratings. By analysing behaviour and transaction data from the app, such as transport movements, geo-location, and GrabPay transaction data, the company claims it will be able to offer alternative data points to assess credit worthiness.

As well as offering its own products, the firm intends to white-label its credit scoring methodology as a platform for use by traditional financial services firms.

The company has also inked a deal with property and casualty insurance giant Chubb, to provide in-app insurance services for Grab’s 2.6 million drivers and customers. The companies say they plan to explore the use of data derived from Grab’s platform, including telematics, machine learning and predictive analytics to offer insurance products personalised to the specific needs of different private-hire vehicle drivers in Southeast Asia.

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