Grab allows peer-to-peer fund transfers, eyes retailers and merchants

Grab has launched a new peer-to-peer fund transfer feature which allows consumers to transfer GrabPay credits to one another. This is through its GrabPay function which is Grab’s in-app mobile wallet.

The ride-hailing platform also has plans to further develop the technology to enable payment for merchant services beyond transportation via the feature. This will be through extending the use of GrabPay to merchants, including those in F&B, retail and entertainment industries by Q4 2017. Grab aims to work with more than 1,000 merchants, and will start by partnering merchants that are currently more heavily dependent on cash.

Merchants will be able to benefit from the increased marketing exposure through Grab’s app, which has seen over 55 million mobile devices across Southeast Asia so far. Participating merchants can also expect to set up GrabPay easily with a QR code, and also enjoy lower costs of cashless adoption. With mobile payments, merchants will not incur additional fees such as rental of payment terminals.

Currently, Grab works with merchants through its GrabRewards loyalty programme. A quick check by Marketing found the participation of brands such as Spotify, KFC, Deliveroo, Haagen-Daz, Zalora, Love, Bonito, Sasa and American Eagle Outfitters, to name a few.

According to Grab’s statement, this is in line with the Singapore government’s push to encourage more consumers and merchants to switch to cashless payments. It will also make Singapore the first country where Grab plans to trial this beyond transportation.

Jason Thompson, head of GrabPay, Grab, explained that the move follows insights that over 75% of Grab users in Singapore go cashless and use GrabPay to pay for rides. This indicates that users are familiar with using mobile payments for daily transactions, via the Grab app.

Hence, the fund transfer function is viewed to be the first step to expand the use of GrabPay as a mobile wallet. While the first roll out of the new feature allows users to transfer money to one another, the platform aims to allow users to use GrabPay to pay for goods and services offline as well in coming months.

“Cashless payments in Singapore are still quite fragmented. Mobile payments are more infrastructure-lite, and as one of the most frequently used consumer apps, we believe Grab can drive mass adoption of mobile payments in Singapore and across Southeast Asia,” Thompson said. He added that Grab has a stake in educating and bringing local communities into the cashless future, and is open to working with public and private sector organisations to enable this.

In a bid to bolster security for its GrabPay mobile wallet, Grab introduced a new six-digit GrabPay PIN as a second factor authentication. This applies to customers with more than SG$150 worth of credits in their GrabPay account. The app also automatically prompts users to input their pin number when unusual activity is detected.

The move reflects Grab’s recent strides in boosting its presence in the data and loyalty space. Most recently, it hired Clement Tan as its regional loyalty marketing manager. Prior to the move, Tan was an associate account director at Wunderman. During his time at Wunderman, Tan was an account lead for CPG, retail, fuel and automotive clients. This was with a focus on multi-channel engagement, CRM strategy and operations.

Meanwhile, it struck a partnership to launch a data-focused pilot programme with Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Financial Services Corporation, and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Co. The project aims to use data analysis to enable Grab to offer its driver partners across the region improved access to connected car services.

As part of the initiative, Grab will share data on driving patterns from 100 Toyota cars in Grab’s fleet, captured by Toyota’s data-transmission driving recorder, TransLog. Toyota’s team will then analyse the data set and, based on this analysis, offer recommendations on other connected car services on the Toyota Mobility Service Platform (MSPF). This includes user-based insurance, financing program, and predictive maintenance which can enhance the Grab experience for drivers on the platform.