Published: Wed, March 14, 2018
Finance | By Claude Patterson

Grab forms venture with Japan's Credit Saison for lending services

Grab forms venture with Japan's Credit Saison for lending services

Now, in the latest such expansion, the company has announced Grab Financial, a consolidation of existing and new financial services that will see it expand into the lending and insurance businesses for the first time. Grab will offer loans to the underserved via a joint-venture with Credit Saison, the largest lender in Japan (the company now has about $70 million credit cards in circulation, TechCrunch reported today).

Singapore-based Grab has launched a new fintech platform that offers loans and insurance, starting with its driver-partners and "middle economy" business owners.

Southeast Asia's largest taxi-hailing app operator Grab on March 13 announced its new joint venture Grab Financial with Japanese consumer financing company Credit Saison to provide loans and lending services to millions of micro-entrepreneurs across the region.

Managing director of GrabPay Southeast Asia Jason Thompson said in a separate media briefing on Tuesday that Ibu Sumiati only has a rolling credit of funds to last 24 hours, so if a robbery happens, her business closes.

Grab, founded by Malaysian businessman Anthony Tan, said Tuesday it will use its "huge cache" of customer data from the app to provide ways to measure creditworthiness of people outside the formal banking system. It will do this by analysing behaviour and transaction data from the Grab app, including transport movements, geolocation and GrabPay transaction data.

The initial phase of the JV will focus on providing products for its driver-partners, agents and merchants, such as working capital loans, financing for smartphones and durable goods, as well as consumer goods financing. Its product portfolio includes unsecured consumer lending, shopping credit loans, mortgage loans, micro/auto insurance and leasing.

Jason Thompson MD of Grab Pay SEA
Jason Thompson MD of Grab Pay SEA

Analysts expect a boom in digital financial services in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia - where the majority of its 250 million population do not have bank accounts.

Separately, Grab has also signed a partnership with property and casualty insurance company Chubb, to offer insurance plans to Grab's drivers and customers.

Using the Grab app, drivers will be able to select different insurance options to protect their vehicles, their livelihoods and, ultimately, even their families, with access to loss of income insurance, per-ride schemes, personal accident policies and motor insurance.

Nobody has any data on them; the platform is all designed around them. US-based insurer Chubb is also signed on as a partner.

Here's what we understand of Grab Financial. "Overall, this partnership is an exciting step in our digital strategy to meet growing insurance needs in Asia Pacific".

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