Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Medical | By Johnnie Horton

Grab launches lending services and insurance products

Grab launches lending services and insurance products

Jason Thompson, managing director of Grab Financial, said that "Grab Financial Services Asia is building a reliable alternative to traditional credit scoring methods that are customized for the unbanked majority of consumers and small businesses in Southeast Asia".

GrabReward - Grab's rewards and loyalty services.

Grab will now offer loans and insurance with its new fintech platform - Grab Financial - the ride-hailing company announced on Tuesday (March 13).

"The new joint venture, Grab Financial Services Asia, puts in place a much-needed infrastructure that will accelerate financial inclusion in Southeast Asia", Thompson said.

The joint venture will tap on the ride-hailing service provider's huge cache of customer data gather from its app - these include riders' feedback, telemetry data and insights from the Grab Rewards platform, Mr Thompson explained - to provide a "sophisticated, alternative resource for measuring credit ratings".

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

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The start-up today announced a partnership with Credit Saison, Japan's largest credit card company, to provide loans and lending services in the region.

Besides the Credit Saison partnership, Grab also announced it is working with Chubb to offer insurance products for its drivers. Through the ride-sharing operator's app, drivers would be able to select an option to insure their vehicles or families for loss of income, per-ride policies, and personal accident policies, amongst others.

Beyond that, we can also expect Grab Financial to introduce new insurance products catered to the digital audience in Southeast Asia.

Grab has been progressively developing its capabilities in financial services, acquiring Indonesian e-commerce company Kudo in April 2017 and launching a P2P mobile wallet in November.

Thompson said during a media keynote session after the announcement that its JV with Credit Saison will leverage on Credit Saison's experience in financial services as well as utilise Grab's extensive regional reach and vast datasets on consumer behaviour.

Grab, widely known as "Southeast Asia's Uber", operates services in 191 cities in eight countries, with mobile downloads totaling about 86 million. So, for now, we will have to wait and see how Credit Saison takes off and see what more things Grab will have under its hold in the coming financial year.

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