Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, and Samsung Electronics, one of the world’s largest electronics companies, today announced that they have signed a multi-year MOU to drive digital inclusion in Southeast Asia.
Grab and Samsung will work together on a wide range of initiatives to bring the benefits of technology, such as enhanced customer experiences and improved income opportunities, to millions of consumers and Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia.
Grab is the market leader in ride-hailing in Southeast Asia, an industry that is one of the fastest growing Internet services sectors and expected to be a $25 billion market by 2022 in this region. As part of the wide-ranging strategic collaboration, Grab and Samsung will develop customised solutions for the ride-hailing industry, including micro-financing schemes for Grab’s over 2.3 million driver-partners, improved customer booking and in-car experiences, and new mobility solutions. The two companies will also work together to expand into Southeast Asia’s fragmented mobile payments ecosystem and provide a mobile payments solution that will serve the needs of consumers in Southeast Asia.
Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, Grab, said, “Southeast Asia is home to the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, yet many in the smaller towns and cities do not have easy access to the growing digital economy. Mobile technology can bridge the infrastructural divide and make economic growth more inclusive. Samsung is one of the world’s most innovative technology companies, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to empower more people in Southeast Asia to improve their livelihoods and provide more digital services for everyone on the Grab platform.”
Sangchul Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics, Southeast Asia & Oceania, said, “Here at Samsung, developing meaningful innovations for the betterment of our consumers’ lives is always at the heart of what we do. We believe in the Internet of Things; the various benefits a more digitally connected world brings, and we are excited to be partnering Grab to provide consumers within the region an enhanced array of digital solutions for their everyday needs. Through this collaboration, we hope to explore how we can work together to tap into the massive growth opportunity of Southeast Asia’s digital economy.”
The strategic collaboration will be rolled out in phases across all countries in Southeast Asia that Grab operates in. In phase 1, Grab and Samsung are offering:
● Micro-financing of mobile devices for drivers
More than 2.3 million Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia will have access to a micro-financing programme focused on giving them access to robust mobile technology, which will reduce the cost of purchasing a smartphone and also lower ongoing maintenance costs with superior software and security features. This is part of Grab’s Better 365 programme that provides more benefits and cost savings to drivers.
This initiative was piloted in Myanmar in Q4 2017, where only 30% of adults have access to formal financial services, and will soon be rolled out across the region. Currently, drivers in Myanmar who sign up with Grab can purchase and own high-quality Samsung devices and get a micro-loan from CB Bank, one of Myanmar’s largest banks and Grab’s local banking partner, to finance the device. In less than three months of the pilot, more than 1,400 drivers in Myanmar have benefitted from this programme.
● Enhanced customer experience at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths
To make Grab’s services more accessible to commuters and customers in Southeast Asia, Grab will introduce more GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in busy consumer hubs such as shopping malls, hotels and airports. These feature Samsung devices with the Grab enterprise app pre-installed, allowing individuals and concierge services to book a Grab ride for themselves or others, even when they do not have data connectivity.
The Samsung devices are designed for robust everyday use in public spaces. The devices at GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in Indonesia and Myanmar have been installed with Samsung’s Knox enterprise mobile security software, ensuring the information security of Grab’s devices, reducing downtime and maintenance costs, enabling Grab to better serve its customers. This will be rolled out in Vietnam and Singapore in Q1, and other countries in Southeast Asia later in the year.
● Infotainment services in selected cars
Grab and its content partners will pilot in-car multimedia services in Singapore, installing Samsung tablets inside cars for customers to view infotainment content, if they choose to, during their ride. This will be piloted throughout Southeast Asia this year.