Grab creates finance and payments revolution in Southeast Asia


While Southeast Asia’s economy shows huge potential for growth, around 73% of the population still doesn’t have a bank account, severely limiting the upward mobility of both individuals and organisations.

Enter Grab, the ride-hailing app, which is introducing a range of financial services in Singapore, including micro-insurance for small to medium sized companies, and post-paid products.

Instead of charging high annual premiums, the organisation’s micro-insurance plan offers people a chance to pay towards their premium every time they take a ride using the Grab app.

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The organisation is working in conjunction with financial institutions such as Indonesian digital wallet Ovo, US insurance company Chubb, and Japanese financial services firm Credit Saison.

In addition to micro-insurance, it offers loans to growing organisations to help them manage cash-flow issues and grow their operations.

Singaporean fashion brand, Flesh Imp, has now expanded to China, thanks to a working capital loan from Grab.

And such loans are not restricted to companies, but are also available to individuals. Indonesian GrabBike partner Rudianto is one of them.

He used to work in construction and didn’t even own a smartphone prior to joining Grab. A micro-loan from the company meant he could buy a second motorbike, save money to build his mother a house, and eventually became the owner of a chicken farm.

In 2017, Grab acquired the Indonesian payments platform Kudo, meaning it can now reach Indonesia’s rural population through local businesses knowns as warungs, providing them with access to online transactions.

With governments across Southeast Asia now investing heavily in technology, there is obvious potential for Grab’s model to be replicated across the region.



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Maya Taylor

A seasoned writer, with a degree in Creative Writing. Over ten years' experience in producing blog and magazine articles, news reports and website content.

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