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.