Grab moves into fintech

Southeast Asia Uber rival, Grab has taken a major step into becoming a fintech player too according to Techcrunch.

The ride-sharing firm, which recently raised $2bn from SoftBank and China’s Didi Chuxing, has introduced support for its GrabPay service among third-party merchants.

Grab is present in seven markets across Southeast Asia, but the first merchants it is onboarding are street food sellers in Singapore, where the firm is headquartered.

Grab currently has 50 million-plus users and the move signals its intent following announcing plans to develop a payments platform last year. Techcrunch writes, ‘It takes GrabPay from being merely the system that enables you pay for a taxi using your credit (or pre-bought Grab credit) to one that could be used more widely as a digital payments app.’

‘This is an important part of the journey,’ Grab co-founder Hooi Ling Tan told TechCrunch in an interview. ‘We’ve been talking and executing on our plan but this is a significant milestone for making GrabPay truly a cash replacement.’

‘If I leave my wallet at home, I can still pay for breakfast, lunch and dinner. In time I’ll be able to buy goods like hardware or groceries using GrabPay,’ Tan added.