Grab adds SME lending, micro-insurance to deepen financial services portfolio

Grab Financial, the fintech arm of Southeast Asian ride-hailing major Grab, has rolled out its SME lending and micro-insurance service for drivers in Singapore under the “Grow with Grab” roadmap.

The roadmap puts Grab Financial in a strong position as the group seeks to bring more possibilities to micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, Grab said in a statement.

The firm claimed to have served more than 9 million micro-entrepreneurs over the past six years. Through the joint venture partnership with Credit Saison last March, Grab has started providing working capital loans to help out small businesses in Singapore and lending pilots to its driver partners. The firm said it will pursue lending licences across Southeast Asia.

The joint venture has also launched post-paid and installment services, Pay Later, that allow customers to pay for Grab services at the end of the month, and to buy goods and spread payments at a 0 per cent interest rate over multiple months. Both products will be offered only to Grab’s most creditworthy customers.

“This is a huge untapped opportunity for Grab Financial to support the region’s entrepreneurs who are less able to access traditional financial institutions. While SMEs contribute more than 50 per cent of ASEAN’s GDP, two thirds of SMEs cite business funding and financing as their biggest problem,” said Reuben Lai, senior managing director at Grab Financial.

In addition, leveraging the partnership with Chinese online insurer ZhongAn in January this year, Grab will launch a digital insurance marketplace in April, directly available on the Grab app.

The medical leave insurance and personal accident insurance for its drivers will be accessible within the next few weeks. Grab also hopes to replicate this programme from Singapore to other countries in the region.

In 2019, the ride-hailing decacorn will also implement its ‘pay-as-you-drive’ automotive insurance that will allow driver partners to only pay for insurance when they are driving as well as micro-life insurance and critical illness insurance policies.

“We are beating Southeast Asia’s fragmentation problem… We have opened up our platform for more than 100 partners across a diverse set of industries ranging from malls to card networks and banks,” added Lai.

The Grow with Grab roadmap also includes an online check-out payment method and Point-of-Sale (PoS) device integration, through which micro- and small businesses can benefit from Grab’s user base and network of more than 600,000 merchants.

Meanwhile, the upgrade of its e-wallet now allows online sellers to accept GrabPay as a mobile wallet on their website or platform. Payment is available on local e-commerce platforms such as Qoo10 (Singapore) and 11Street (Malaysia), and agreements have been signed with merchant gateways like Adyen, Boku, iPay88, Dragonpay, and key brands including Cathay Cineplexes in Singapore and SM Cinema in the Philippines.

The PoS integration enbles business owners with the devices to tap into Grab’s ASEAN-wide user base, without having to change their hardware or sales and accounting systems. The payment method will first be available in Singapore.

Also read:

Grab raises $1.46b from Vision fund, bumps up Series H total to $4.5b

Grab launches new venture to foray into financial services in SE Asia

Grab inks JV with China’s ZhongAn to build digital insurance marketplace

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.