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Grab Now Enters Southeast Asia's SME Lending and Micro-Insurance Space The entry puts Grab Financial in a strong position in financial services, as the group seeks to bring more possibilities to micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses

By Nidhi Singh

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Ride-hailing giant Grab managed to stay relevant last year by forging partnerships and venturing into segments like healthcare, insurance and video. This time, the Singapore-headquartered company has launched new services such as SME lending and micro-insurance under "Grow with Grab" roadmap, which aims to provide the most comprehensive portfolio of financial services in Southeast Asia for micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses.

The roadmap launched by the company during the Money 20/20 Asia conference in Singapore includes a range of other new services, including micro-insurance products, post-paid and installment payment services as well as Pay with GrabPay, an online check-out payment method for online sellers. Grow with Grab marks the Grab Financial Group's full-scale push into lending and insurance.

The roadmap puts Grab Financial in a strong position in financial services, as the group seeks to bring more possibilities to micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses. It further sets a clear ambition to become both the region's largest payments and financial services platform in 2019.

Support to SMEs and Entrepreneurs

"We are doubling down on our financial services offering for micro-entrepreneurs with "Grow with Grab'. This is a huge untapped opportunity for Grab Financial to support the region's entrepreneurs who are less able to access traditional financial institutions. While small and medium enterprises (SMEs) contribute more than 50 per cent of ASEAN's GDP, two thirds of SMEs cite business funding and financing as their biggest problem. The Grab app has served more than nine million micro-entrepreneurs over the last six years. As a result, we can leverage our scale and data insights to bring financial services products to market at a more competitive price point than anyone else," said Reuben Lai, senior managing director, Grab Financial Group.

In the next few weeks, Grab Financial will be launching new services from the Grow with Grab roadmap that enable micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses to grow their earnings, grow their business and protect their livelihoods.

Expanding the Grab Financial Group Ecosystem

Over the course of 2018, Grab has managed to attract a range of industry-leading partners to build payments and financial services infrastructure tailored to the needs of micro-entrepreneurs in Southeast Asia.

Reuben added, "We are beating Southeast Asia's fragmentation problem by bringing together the largest payments and financial services ecosystem. We have opened up our platform for more than 100 partners across a diverse set of industries ranging from malls to card networks and banks."

The launch comes nearly weeks after the Southeast Asian company secured $1.46 billion fresh funding from the Softbank Vision Fund. In January, Grab entered into the digital insurance space by partnering with the Shanghai-based ZhongAn, which is China's first Internet-based insurer. The company will offer a platform to Singaporeans to purchase insurance online.

Nidhi Singh

Former Correspondent, Entrepreneur Asia-Pacific

A self confessed Bollywood Lover, Travel junkie and Food Evangelist.I like travelling and I believe it is very important to take ones mind off the daily monotony .

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