Grab dives deeper into fintech with move into lending

Pic Reuters

Pic Reuters

According to a statement, the JV, called Grab Financial Services Asia, is part of the launch of Grab Financial, the fintech platform within the Grab ecosystem. Grab will offer loans to the underserved via a joint-venture with Credit Saison, the largest lender in Japan (the company now has about $70 million credit cards in circulation, TechCrunch reported today).

Grab will now offer loans and insurance with its new fintech platform - Grab Financial - the ride-hailing company announced yesterday.

Southeast Asia's largest taxi-hailing app operator Grab on March 13 announced its new joint venture Grab Financial with Japanese consumer financing company Credit Saison to provide loans and lending services to millions of micro-entrepreneurs across the region. He further added, "Many in our region have no access to loans that they can use to purchase a new home or grow their small business".

Managing director of GrabPay Southeast Asia Jason Thompson said in a separate media briefing on Tuesday that Ibu Sumiati only has a rolling credit of funds to last 24 hours, so if a robbery happens, her business closes. "By analyzing behaviour and transaction data from the app, such as transport movements, geo-location, and GrabPay transaction data, the company can offer alternative data points to assess creditworthiness, filling the gap left by traditional credit scoring methods".

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Eventually, the JV is also expected to offer credit scoring services to financial institutes which can use Grab Financial's data to provide other services such as virtual credit cards.

The two have set up the joint venture (JV), Grab Financial Services Asia.

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 operates in eight countries in Southeast Asia and its app has been downloaded on more than 86 million mobile devices.

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Nobody has any data on them; the platform is all designed around them.

The service will be rolled out this year to all the Southeast Asia markets Grab is in now, the executive said. We are excited to have a partner such as Chubb with whom we share this vision.

Didi Chuxing, the biggest ride-hailing operator in China, previous year teamed up with Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp to lead a US$2.5 billion financing round in Grab. Initial offerings include accident, hospitalisation and other critical insurance coverage to Grab's 2.6 million drivers, accessible through the driver app. These features is said to make it easier for drivers to find rides and secure earnings.

The company is investing in product innovation, analytics and technology to provide a truly "anytime-anywhere" customer experience for its clients and distribution partners.

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