Grab ventures into fintech, offering microfinancing services

Grab ventures into fintech, offering microfinancing services

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, managing director of Grab Financial, said that "Grab Financial Services Asia is building a reliable alternative to traditional credit scoring methods that are customized for the unbanked majority of consumers and small businesses in Southeast Asia".

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.

Singapore-based Grab has launched a new fintech platform that offers loans and insurance, starting with its driver-partners and "middle economy" business owners.

As part of this, the launch of Grab Financial Services Asia (GFSA) was also announced.

"The new joint venture, Grab Financial Services Asia, puts in place a much-needed infrastructure that will accelerate financial inclusion in Southeast Asia".

For its new offerings, Grab has teamed up with Credit Saison, a $3 billion firm that is Japan's biggest lender with some 70 million credit cards in circulation, to create a joint venture called Grab Financial Services Asia.

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

Using the data, combined with Credit Saison's expertise in credit scoring, risk management and product formulation, the new entity can offer a range of lending products and services mentioned above, Grab said. So, for now, we will have to wait and see how Credit Saison takes off and see what more things Grab will have under its hold in the coming financial year. It plans to leverage Grab's network of millions of customers, including small businesses as well as data on consumer behavior, then combines it with the Credit Saison's intel in credit annals and consumer lending.

In a separate announcement, Grab also inked a partnership with Chubb to offer insurance services for its drivers. Our insurance partnership is evolving from traditional group personal accident coverage for drivers to more digital options directly offered from the Grab app.

And they may be the bigger victor behind the scenes.

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