Grab launches GrabPay in Malaysia, eyes more partnerships

FILE PHOTO - People wait for the start of ride-hailing company Grab's fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo

Singapore-based ride-hailing major Grab has launched GrabPay mobile wallet with GrabPay Credits in Malaysia today, and is eyeing more partnerships with local service providers.

“I think the [digital payment] market is very fragmented. Consolidation will likely to happen – it is inevitable. But our differentiator is our transport service and the food delivery service,” said GrabPay Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines managing director, Ooi Huey Tyng, at the launch event today.

GrabPay said, its regional merchant base now stands at over 4,000 since it first introduced the mobile wallet in Singapore late last year.

“These merchants include hawkers that have been accepting cash since their first day of operations, mom and pop stores. These are the segments that we think have been left behind in the digital economy and we’re trying to help them. Any business that is accepting only cash is our target merchants. All merchants need is a static QR code whereby a POS terminal is not even necessary,” Ooi said.

Noting that cash still remains dominant in the region and is a stubborn habit among many, Ooi said, these challenges are opportunities for businesses to increase revenue by tapping into Grab’s large user base as consumers will soon realise the convenience of cashless payments.

According to the central bank of Malaysia (BNM), more than 80 per cent of transactions in Malaysia are still on cash, costing more than RM1 billion a year to the banking industry. When asked about the split of Grab customers who use digital payments for their transactions, Ooi said the cash versus GrabPay split is “very close” to the national average stated by BNM.

GrabPay is now available in eight Malaysian cities and is looking to expand beyond them. The mobile wallet received its e-license from BNM last December and has partnered with Malayan Banking Bhd to push its growth.

Ooi added that GrabPay Malaysia has about 500 merchants and the figure will be doubled in less than two months’ time.

“We’re focusing on the F&B industry for now because we have GrabFood, so there will be a lot of synergy between these two. While not all GrabFood merchants use GrabPay, but that’s the plan [to have all of them use GrabPay]. We want to work together to harness that synergy first,” she added. On other markets, Ooi claimed that the mobile wallet has experienced “tremendous and phenomenal growth”.

Beyond F&B, GrabPay Malaysia is also looking to tap into other industries such as public transportation. It is already partnered with KLIA Ekspres, effective mid-July. The GrabPay mobile wallet also comes with a peer-to-peer fund transfer feature, where consumers are able to transfer money via phone numbers.

Also read:

Grab partners with Maybank to grow mobile wallet GrabPay in Malaysia

Grab acquires Indian payments startup iKaaz to boost GrabPay platform

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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.