Grab mobile wallet to offer loans and insurance in Thailand

27, Nov. 2019

Worachat Luxkanalode, Grab Financial Group’s country head of GrabPay Thailand, explaining the functions of  GrabPay Wallet in Bangkok on Nov. 25, 2019.
Worachat Luxkanalode, Grab Financial Group’s country head of GrabPay Thailand, explaining the functions of GrabPay Wallet in Bangkok on Nov. 25, 2019.

BANGKOK, NNA – Grab Thailand, the local operator of the Singaporean ride-hailing app and e-wallet, plans to offer loans and insurance next year as it actively expands its mobile platform scope.

Worachat Luxkanalode, Grab Financial Group’s country head of GrabPay Thailand, is confident such services will attract positive response from customers because it already possesses “consumer data which other banks don’t have and a platform to facilitate all financial transactions”.

He told the media on Monday that the firm has acquired operator licenses for lending nano-loans and personal loans from the Bank of Thailand.

Currently, Grab is running a pilot program of digital lending and insurance services for its ride-hailing drivers and merchants participating in its food delivery service, GrabFood. It also provides financing for their smartphone purchases and usage.

Grab on Monday officially introduced its GrabPay Wallet app under its multi-service platform for in-store and online payments after a soft launch several months ago.

Partnered with Kasikornbank, the service allows users to pay for goods via QR code at partnered stores and mobile top-up. They can also access sale promotion and monthly packages through its dealbook and subscription features.

Such services are only available for Kasikornbank customers for now, but will be extended to other bank customers next year, said Worachat.

Since the launch of beta mobile wallet in July, the number of GrabPay users has jumped three times, with 40 percent of its financial transactions going cashless, according to its press release.

In the first 10 months of 2019, Grab Thailand carried out 120 million transactions for rides as well as parcel, grocery and food delivery.

In 2018, an Indonesian super app Go-Jek also made inroads into Thailand by teaming up with a local partner to launch Get application, offering ride-hailing and food delivery. The firm has attracted investment of an undisclosed amount from Siam Commercial Bank.

Thailand’s digital financial services revenue is expected to grow at a robust 24 percent each year from $2.4 billion in 2019 to $8.6 billion in 2024, according to a study by Bain & Company, Google and Temasek released in October.

The same study noted that 18 percent of Thailand’s 55 million adult population had no access to basic financial services while 35 percent did not hold any credit card, insurance or a long-term saving product.

In a separate survey made in 2017, the Bank of Thailand reported that 93 percent of all transactions were still made in cash in the kingdom.