Grab launches lending services for Southeast Asia

Grab launches lending services for Southeast Asia

According to the press release, Grab Financial will encompass all of Grab's fintech offerings, including payments services, rewards and loyalty services, agent network services and now also financial services. 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).

Analysts expect a boom in digital financial services in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia - where the majority of its 250 million population do not have bank accounts.

"Many in our region have no access to loans that they can use to purchase a new home or grow their small business".

Now, in the latest such expansion, the company has announced Grab Financial, a consolidation of existing and new financial services that will see it expand into the lending and insurance businesses for the first time.

Credit Saison CEO Hiroshi Rinno, said, "Grab is one of the most trusted and widely used platforms in Southeast Asia, with millions of people relying on the app every day, which gives it a highly valuable insight on consumer behaviour in real-time".

Credit Saison is the largest credit card issuer in Japan and has also invested in e-commerce and biometric payments.

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Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 86 million mobile devices, offering private auto, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services, as well as on-demand food and delivery services across 191 cities in 8 countries in Southeast Asia.

Grab will also offer insurance policies to its 2.6 million drivers via partnership with US -based insurer Chubb Ltd. Grab is present across eight countries in Southeast Asia and has an existing loan book worth over $700 million because of prior campaigns for auto financing, insurance, and more such facilities.

The companies will also explore leveraging on data technology from Grab's platform, including telematics, machine learning and predictive analytics to offer insurance solutions personalised to the specific needs of different private-hire vehicle drivers in Southeast Asia.

The service will be rolled out this year to all the Southeast Asia markets Grab is in now, the executive said. US-based insurer Chubb is also signed on as a partner. Initial offerings include accident, hospitalisation and other critical insurance coverage to Grab's 2.6 million drivers, accessible through the driver app.

Didi Chuxing, the biggest ride-hailing operator in China, past year teamed up with Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp to lead a US$2.5 billion financing round in Grab. "Overall, this partnership is an exciting step in our digital strategy to meet growing insurance needs in Asia Pacific".

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