The region's ride-hailing giant Grab announced on Tuesday (Mar 13) it is going bigger into financial services, by partnering Japan's Credit Saison to offer lending to the unbanked and underbanked within its ecosystem.
As part of this, the launch of Grab Financial Services Asia (GFSA) was also announced.
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.
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.
Grab Financial Services Asia taps into the firm's huge cache of customer data gathered from the Grab app, which processes over a billion transactions annually, to provide an alternative resource for measuring credit ratings.
Grab will provide its vast consumer data based on its reach to millions of consumers across the region, while Saison will offer its expertise in credit analysis and consumer lending.
The new venture will also look at offering credit scoring services to financial firms who can use the information to provide other services such as virtual credit cards.
With both the involvement with Grab and Shopback, arguably two of the most used consumer platforms in Southeast Asia, Credit Saison will have access to consumer habits, spending behaviours as well as financial insights of the Southeast Asia population.
Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 86 million mobile devices, offering private vehicle, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services, as well as on-demand food and delivery services across 191 cities in 8 countries in Southeast Asia.
On the other hand, the insurance capability of Grab Financial is done through a partnership with Chubb, the world's largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company.
Grab's joint venture (JV) with Credit Saison will allow them to offer access to funding that is crucial to helping them grow their income streams.
Using the Grab app, drivers will be able to select different insurance options such as loss of income insurance, per-ride schemes, personal accident policies and motor insurance.
And they may be the bigger victor behind the scenes.
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