FINANCIAL SERVICES | Staff Reporter, Singapore

Grab ventures into SME lending and micro-insurance

One product is a post-paid and installment payment service called Pay Later.

Grab Financial Group unveiled its ‘Grow with Grab’ roadmap following the launch of its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lending and micro-insurance for drivers in Singapore, an announcement revealed.

The ‘Grow with Grab’ roadmap reportedly aims to provide a comprehensive portfolio of financial services in Southeast Asia for micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses. It will include a range of services, such as micro-insurance products, post-paid and installment payment services on top of ‘Pay with GrabPay’, an online check-out payment method and point-of-sale (POS) device for online sellers.

“‘Pay with GrabPay’ online check-out allows online sellers to accept GrabPay as a mobile wallet on their website or platform. Customers can buy their goods online from the same familiar, convenient and secure GrabPay wallet they use on a daily basis for Grab rides and food orders,” the firm explained. The payment method will first launch in Singapore with merchants such as coffee chain Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and bakery chain Paris Baguette.

‘Pay with GrabPay’ agreements have also been signed with some of the region’s biggest merchant gateways, including Adyen, Boku, iPay88, Dragonpay as well as Cathay Cineplexes in Singapore and SM Cinema in the Philippines, the Group revealed.

The Group said it is aiming to become both one of the region’s largest merchant networks with, the largest insurtech policy provider and the biggest fintech lender, all within one platform.

Also read: Can Grab's superapp goals work seamlessly?

“We are doubling down on our financial services offering for micro-entrepreneurs with 'Grow with Grab'. This is a huge untapped opportunity for Grab Financial to support the region’s entrepreneurs who are less able to access traditional financial institutions,” Reuben Lai, Senior managing director for Grab Financial Group, said in a statement. “Whilst SMEs contribute more than 50% of ASEAN’s gross domestic product (GDP), two thirds of SMEs cite business funding and financing as their biggest problem.”

Meanwhile, Grab, through its joint-venture with Credit Saison, launched its first full-scale product ‘Pay Later’ which is a post-paid and installment payment service. The service offers a post-paid payment facility that allows customers to pay for Grab services at the end of the month with no additional costs. “This helps consumers who face exceptional expenses, but are keen to avoid being hit with higher credit card or personal loan interest payments,” the firm explained. “In the following months, Grab will also launch a ‘Pay Later’ installment payment product which allows consumers to buy goods right away and spread installment payments at a 0% interest rate over multiple months.”

And following its joint-venture with insurer Zhong An in January, Grab is set to launch its insurance marketplace in April. The digital insurance marketplace will be directly available from the Grab app and will offer policies tailored to the lifestyle needs of micro-entrepreneurs.

In the next few weeks, Grab will roll out its prolonged medical leave insurance, which will supplement its earlier announced policy. It will allow driver-partners who are already covered to top-up for more coverage, whilst enabling driver-partners who are not in eligible tiers of the Emerald Circle program to affordably access this insurance for the first time. 

Likewise, a personal accident insurance will soon also make its way onto the platform. The personal accident insurance offering in the Grab app will allow driver-partners to top-up their existing insurance policies for more coverage.

Grab Financial’s 2019 roadmap will soon cover ‘pay-as-you-drive’ automotive insurance with fractionalised premiums, which allow driver-partners to only pay for insurance when they are driving as well as micro-life insurance and critical illness insurance policies, the firm commented.

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