Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ridesharing service Grab is expanding into lending and insurance

Ridesharing service Grab is expanding into lending and insurance

"I wake up every day thinking about how we are going to empower the next 100-million micro entrepreneurs by 2020", Tan told the Money 20/20 conference in Singapore.

The World Bank estimates that more than 260 million people in Southeast Asia lack bank accounts, which restricts their access to credit. The companies will also look to leverage data technology from Grab's platform such as telematics, machine learning and predictive analytics to offer personalised insurance solutions to the specific needs of the different driver-partners.

Jason Thompson, Managing Director, GrabPay at the Money2020 event in Singapore.

Encompassing all of Grab's fintech offerings, Grab Financial offers payments services, rewards and loyalty services, financial services and agent services. Grab has said that the platform is now to be focussed exclusively on the company's business customers - chiefly its various drivers - but there may be a general consumer-focused version sometime in the future. Whether that's nano-loans for working capital, the ability to buy a auto, actually without financial services we're going to restrict the business growth of that whole ecosystem.

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

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.

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

Grab's new venture will offer credit scoring services to financial firms who can use the information for services such as virtual credit cards. We are excited to have a partner such as Chubb with whom we share this vision.

Grab is now in discussions with more than 60 financial institutions connected on its platform. It is also backed by some of the most powerful investors in the region, like SoftBank, China's Didi Chuxing, and Indonesia's Lippo Group, and can bring their vast resources to bear in its push into financial services.

A Google and Temasek study late last year forecast that Southeast Asia's internet economy would exceed US$200 billion by 2025, from an estimated US$50 billion this year.

Only 27% of adults in Southeast Asia have a bank account, according to World Bank estimates, making it extremely hard for banks to assess credit and risk ratings by analysing traditional data points such as bank account details, income and spending habits, or existing debt.

Here's what we understand of Grab Financial.

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