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Grab has introduced its fintech arm which will bring its group payments, rewards & loyalty, agent network and financial services under an umbrella, as well as offer insurance products to its drivers and customers.

Announcing the launch of Grab Financial and a partnership with insurance company Chubb on stage at Money 20/20 in Singapore, Grab's co-founder Anthony Tan and head of GrabPay Southeast Asia, Jason Thompson said the move by the ride-sharing company was not to challenge financial institutions.

Instead, Grab wants to bring more visibility to financial services to its customers by offering micro-financing products and services custom made for the region, as well as improve the welfare of its drivers.

“The new joint venture, Grab Financial Services Asia, puts in place a much-needed infrastructure that will accelerate financial inclusion in Southeast Asia. Many in our region have no access to loans that they can use to purchase a new home or grow their small Business,” said Thompson.

“GFSA is building a reliable alternative to traditional credit scoring methods that is customised for the unbanked majority of consumers and small businesses in Southeast Asia, which will create economic opportunity for millions across the region.”

Grab Financial will come under the purview of a joint venture company called Grab Financial Services Asia that the company has set up with Japanese finance company Credit Saison.

The Drum recently spoke to Grab's group vice president of marketing Cheryl Goh about the evolution of the company to become a market leader in SEA. She pointed to how important payments and loyalty services were becoming to it as an offering.