Southeast Asian ride-hailing app Grab expands into lending

FILE - In this Monday, July 24, 2017, file photo, a GrabBike driver rides on his motorbike in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Southeast Asian ride hailing app Grab is expanding into financial services in partnership with a Japanese credit card company, hoping to offer credit to millions of people without bank accounts. (AP Photo/Tatan Syuflana, File)
An Indonesian woman pays to a GrabBike driver in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Southeast Asian ride hailing app Grab is expanding into financial services in partnership with a Japanese credit card company, hoping to offer credit to millions of people without bank accounts. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
A GrabBike driver rides on his motorbike in Jakarta, Indonesia, Tuesday, March 13, 2018. Southeast Asian ride hailing app Grab is expanding into financial services in partnership with a Japanese credit card company, hoping to offer credit to millions of people without bank accounts. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Southeast Asian ride hailing app Grab is expanding into financial services in partnership with a Japanese credit card company, hoping to offer credit to millions of people without bank accounts.

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.

The ride-hailing app says it has over a billion transactions a year including food deliveries and other services.

It said the joint venture with Japan's Credit Saison will begin by focusing on providing loans to Grab drivers and merchants for purchasing smartphones or working capital.

The World Bank estimates that more than 260 million people in Southeast Asia lack bank accounts, which restricts their access to credit.

"Many in our region have no access to loans that they can use to purchase a new home or grow their small business," Grab said in a statement. It said its lending business would "accelerate financial inclusion."

Grab dominates car and motorbike-hailing in much of Southeast Asia. The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported last week that Uber has agreed in principle to sell its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, which would end the U.S. company's costly fight for market share in the region.

In Indonesia, Southeast Asia's biggest economy and most populous nation, Grab is in a fierce battle for customers with local operator Go-Jek.

Must Read

China says it can't end North Korea nuke program...

Sep 12, 2016

China says the United States has inflamed the conflict on the Korean Peninsula and must carry the...

China's electric vehicle industry shaken by...

Sep 13, 2016

China's electric vehicle industry, a flagship for Beijing's technology ambitions, has been rocked...

China starts 2017 engulfed by smog, issues...

Jan 2, 2017

Beijing and other cities across northern and central China are shrouded in thick smog, prompting...

China says some factories have violated anti-smog...

Jan 3, 2017

China's environmental ministry says an unspecified number of companies have violated measures meant...

China state media call Trump's Taiwan strategy...

Jan 16, 2017

China's state-run media says President-elect Donald Trump "speaks like a rookie" and called his...

Sign up now!

Advertisement