Managing Director, GrabPay Southeast Asia, Jason Thompson,

Jason Thompson, Managing Director, GrabPay Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s leading on-demand transportation company Grab today announced a joint venture with Japanese financial services company Credit Saison to provide loans and lending services to millions of unbanked and underbanked consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses across Southeast Asia.

The JV — known as Grab Financial Services Asia — was announced as part of the launch of Grab Financial, the fintech platform within the Grab ecosystem, at the fintech conference Money 20/20 in Singapore.

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Grab Financial Services Asia taps into Grab’s huge cache of customer data gathered from the Grab app — which claim to process over a billion transactions annually — to provide a sophisticated, alternative resource for measuring credit ratings. By analysing behaviour and transaction data from the app, such as transport movements, geo-location and GrabPay transaction data, the company can offer alternative data points to assess credit worthiness.

Using this data and Credit Saison’s expertise in credit scoring, risk management, and product formulation, the JV will offer a range of lending products and services.

In the early stages, the JV will focus on providing products to meet the needs of Grab drivers, agents and merchants, such as working capital loans, financing for smartphones and durable goods, as well as consumer goods financing. In the near future, it will also offer credit scoring services to financial institutes, who can use the information to provide other services such as virtual credit cards.

Grab Financial Services Asia will also explore partnering with banks and financial institutions in Southeast Asia and globally to provide other financial products.

Additionally, Grab has also announced a partnership with Chubb, a publicly-traded property and casualty insurance company, to offer insurance solutions for Grab’s driver-partners. Using the Grab app, drivers will be able to select different insurance options to protect their vehicles, livelihoods and their families, with access to loss of income insurance, per-ride schemes, personal accident policies and motor insurance.

The companies will also explore leveraging data technology from Grab’s platform, including telematics, machine learning and predictive analytics to offer insurance solutions personalised to the specific needs of different private-hire vehicle drivers in Southeast Asia. It will offer features like pay-per-ride options, one-click enrolment and claim payment via the app.

The other day, Grab announced a partnership with SGX-listed Yoma Strategic — a business corporation with a diversified portfolio of businesses in real estate, consumer, automotive and heavy equipment, financial services and investments in Myanmar —  to provide vehicle leasing and financing options to Grab’s driver-partners in the country.