Asia’s taxi companies give banks real competition

Taxis are parked near the national monument as their drivers take part in a protest against what they say is unfair competition from ridesharing services in Jakarta, Indonesia March 14, 2016. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside/Files

In Southeast Asia, mobile banking is taking on a whole new meaning. Last week, Grab, one of the region’s top ride-hailing companies, announced that users of its app can start sending credits — used to pay for rides — to each other. By the end of the year, they’ll be able to use those credits at more than 1,000 restaurants and retailers. If all goes well, Grab will one day be known as an e-payment platform that just happens to offer a taxi service.

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