Grab unveils a slew of new services, including one that allows customers to pay for expensive items by instalment with 0% interest

Reuben Lai, senior managing director of Grab Financial Group, announced a series of new products on March 19.
Grab

Grab just made a flurry of announcements at Money 20/20 held in Singapore on Tuesday (March 19), including the launch of a payment service that will allow consumers to pay for expensive items by instalment with no interest.

The Singapore-based ride-hailing and FinTech company unveiled what it called its “Grow with Grab roadmap”, featuring a series of new products targeted at consumers, small businesses and driver-partners.

Here’s what is being rolled out in each segment:

For small businesses and consumers: Micro-loans and Pay Later

After announcing its joint venture (JV) with final services company Credit Saison in March last year, Grab and Credit Saison have together partnered with financial institutions to  provide lending pilots to Grab’s driver-partners.

At the same time, Grab also started providing working capital loans to help Singapore’s small businesses grow.

Now, Grab is also pursuing lending licenses across Southeast Asia.

The JV’s first full-scale product, Pay Later, was launched on Tuesday. It is split into two services – a post-paid and instalment payment service.

The post-paid service, which is a consumer product allowing customers to pay for Grab services at the end of each month without extra charge, will be implemented first in Singapore in the following weeks.

“This helps consumers who face exceptional expenses, but are keen to avoid being hit with higher credit card or personal loan interest payments,” Grab said in a press release.

In the next few months, the instalment payment service will also be introduced. This will allow consumers to buy goods through instalment payments over several months, with no interest charged.

Reuben Lai, senior managing director of Grab Financial Group, said at the announcement that with this new service, consumers no longer need to resort to borrowing money to buy high-priced items.

“Many consumers in Southeast Asia live on a very tight budget. At any one point, when they fall in or if they need to pay for certain purchases such as for school or laptops for their kids, most of them will struggle to do that,” Lai said.

“We want to give them the option of paying by instalments in a very seamless, transparent way to the consumers of Southeast Asia,” he added.

But only Grab’s most creditworthy customers will be offered these two products, the company said.

Lai said the company will pull in and digest credit data, credit bureau data or bank account information to assess a customer’s creditworthiness. “In addition to that, we’ll look at other things like non-traditional scoring methods – of which, we have a bunch of insights,” he said.

These non-traditional methods include Grab customers’ payment habits on the platform.

For small businesses: New payment technologies

Small businesses and start-ups will be offered two new payments technologies – an online check-out tool and point-of-sale device integration, both of which are parked under the Pay with GrabPay service.

Grab’s new online check-out tool allows online sellers to accept GrabPay payments on their platform, thus enabling customers to use GrabPay to buy goods online.

The online check-out tool was launched with micro- and small businesses on e-commerce platforms such as Qoo10 and 11Street which, according to Grab.

The second tool that was launched is Grab’s point-of-sale device integration, where merchants can use GrabPay as a payment method for their businesses.

And setting up is a breeze. Lai said that it took less than a day for a wine merchant operating near the Grab office to have GrabPay installed for his business, a far cry from the eight weeks which other mainstream companies usually promise.

He added that point-of-sale integration for GrabPay will allow Grab to dramatically expand the coverage that it has with merchants. In turn, consumers will have more merchants which they can use their GrabPay wallet with.

Singapore is the first country where Grab’s point-of-sale device integration will be launched, with merchants including The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf and Paris Baguette.

Grab has already signed its Pay with GrabPay service with big merchant gateways such as Adyen, Boku, iPay88, Dragonpay and brands including Cathay Cineplexes in Singapore and SM Cinema in the Philippines.

For drivers: Micro-insurance

Grab’s driver-partners will have access to more insurance coverage with new products that will be made available on the Grab app in the coming weeks.

As part of a JV with China-based insurance company Zhong An announced in January, Grab will be launching an insurance marketplace in April.

On top of its free existing personal accident insurance, Grab already implements free medical leave insurance for the majority of its driver-partners in Singapore, which covers lost earnings due to illness and injury.

Under a new prolonged medical leave insurance, driver-partners, who are already covered by existing policies, will only need to top-up their coverage with “a small amount”.

It also enables those who were previously not eligible for the existing Emerald Circle programme to gain access for the first time.

There is now also a new personal accident insurance, which enables driver-partners to top-up their existing insurance policies for more coverage.

Apart from these two new products, Grab also revealed an insurance product roadmap for the rest of 2019. Grab’s Pay-As-You-Drive automotive insurance will be covered by the roadmap with fractionalised premiums, allowing driver-partners to only pay for insurance when they are driving, as well as micro-life insurance and critical illness insurance policies.

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