Get All Access for $5/mo

Grab Launches Numberless Cards for Payments The GrabPay card comes without any numbers on the physical card - a feature that supposedly offers users "exceptional security"

By Aparajita Saxena

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

You're reading Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Grab

Singapore's super app unicorn Grab, in partnership with Mastercard on Thursday launched a numberless card that can be used as part of its e-wallet app, GrabPay, bolstering its resolve to become a major player in the Southeast Asian fintech space.

The GrabPay card comes without any numbers on the physical card - a feature that supposedly offers users "exceptional security", according to the company, along with a host of additional rewards and offers.

The digital GrabPay card has already been made available to users in Singapore. It will be launched in the Philippines by March 2020, and the rest of Southeast Asia by the first half.

"This partnership with Mastercard moves us toward an open payments ecosystem, allowing users to earn and redeem reward points across millions of merchants and represents an important step for GrabPay in becoming a truly Asean wallet," said Huey Tyng Ooi, managing director of GrabPay.

The card will be accepted by nearly 53 million merchants worldwide that accept Mastercard cards. It is also backed by the GrabPay wallet app, where users will be able to see their monthly expenses, lock their physical cards if stolen, pay for all Grab services, among other things.

"This partnership significantly expands Mastercard's reach in Southeast Asia while helping Grab to rapidly scale up its global offering," said Rama Sridhar, Mastercard's executive vice president for digital & emerging partnerships and new payment flows in Asia Pacific.

Solving a Problem

Like most fintechs looking to solve Asia's underbanked population problem, Grab has said that its cards will be available to users that do not have formal bank accounts.

As per a recent study, of the 400 million adults that live in Southeast Asia, only 104 million are fully "banked", and have full access to financial services, which leaves 198 million people that do not have even rudimentary access to financial institutions.

Very basic problems like infrastructure costs, absence of public registers and reliable credit information, along with stringent financial regulations, make it difficult for institutional banks and insurers to penetrate the region in a meaningful way.

Homegrown fintech companies have tried to plug that gap, and using Asia's rapid tech innovation, boomed into a multi-billion dollar industry in the region, serving tech savvy millennials, and undocumented Asians alike.

Digital payments are expected to cross $1 trillion by 2025 in Asia, and account for nearly one in two dollars spent in the region. The market for e-wallets is expected to grow even faster, from $22 billion in 2019, to $114 billion, a more than fivefold jump, by 2025, the Google joint study said.


Aparajita Saxena

Former Deputy Associate Editor, Asia Pacific

Aparajita is Former Deputy Associate Editor for Entrepreneur Asia Pacific. She joined Entrepreneur after nearly five years with Reuters, where she chased the Asian and U.S. finance markets.

At Entrepreneur Asia Pacific, she wrote about trends in the Asia Pacific startup ecosystem. She also loves to look for problems startups face in their day-to-day and tries to present ways to deal with those issues via her stories, with inputs from other startups that may have once been in that boat.

Outside of work, she likes spending her time reading books (fiction/non-fiction/back of a shampoo bottle), chasing her two dogs around the house, exploring new wines, solo-travelling, laughing at memes, and losing online multiplayer battle royale games.

 

Marketing

Content Marketing Trends for 2020: Are we ready?

With every click on the keyboard, there is content being added to this virtual infinite universe that is being created, trillions of pieces of content get created every day

Marketing

How Much Did That New Customer Cost You?

Determine your marketing plan's effectiveness by analyzing how much you're spending to gain just one client.

Money & Finance

20 Crazy New Things We Learned About Snap

The maker of Snapchat, expected to be valued at more than $20 billion, revealed its inner workings for its IPO.

Science & Technology

What You Need to Know About This New Cybersecurity Trend

There's a new trend in cybersecurity that's likely going to play a critical role in keeping our data secure and private: confidential computing. Here's why and how it's going to change some of mankind's most important industries.

Science & Technology

The 7-Step ChatGPT Formula for Peak Productivity and Profit

With this powerful solution, you can take your productivity and profitability to new heights with ease.

Side Hustle

Top Secrets to Starting a 6-Figure Etsy Side Hustle That Earns Passive Income, According to 3 People Who Did It

Etsy remains a popular ecommerce platfrom for sellers — and can be incredibly lucrative for those who know how to use it.