Grab readying financial services in Thailand

Grab readying financial services in Thailand

Grab, Southeast Asia's leading on-demand transport service, plans to expand into e-wallet and micro lending in Thailand to capitalise on the booming cashless society trend.

The company is in the process of seeking a Bank of Thailand licence for e-wallet and micro lending as part of the group's strategy to expand in financial services and improve quality of life, said Vee Charununsiri, country head for public affairs.

Mr Vee said the company uses big data technology, particularly for taxi drivers who number in the hundreds of thousands, for credit scoring.

Micro lending will give those unbanked drivers the alternative of low-interest loans, rather than having to rely on loan sharks that charge high interest rates.

In March, Grab announced the formation of Grab Financial Services Asia, 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.

Grab Financial Services Asia will have the ability to tap into Grab's huge cache of customer data gathered from the Grab app, which processes more than a billion transactions annually, to provide a sophisticated, alternative resource for measuring credit ratings.

By analysing behaviour and transaction data from the Grab app, including transport movements, geolocation and GrabPay transaction data, the company can offer alternative data points to assess creditworthiness.

Mr Vee said the e-wallet will enable consumers who lack credit cards to use the e-wallet for their convenience, instead of paying by cash.

"We will expand more in transport, food delivery and the financial system," he said.

Vee: Data on drivers assists credit scoring

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