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.
The Southeast Asia-focused Grab, founded by Malaysian businessman Anthony Tan, will use what is describes as a "huge cache" of data from the app to provide ways to measure creditworthiness of people outside the formal banking system. The app has over a billion transactions a year, including food deliveries and other services besides simply calling a ride.
The venture with Japan's Credit Saison will initially focus on providing loans to Grab drivers and merchants for purchasing phones or working capital. The World Bank estimates over 260 million people in Southeast Asia lack bank accounts, which restricts access to credit.