Ride-Hailing Company Grab Teams Up With Credit Saison to Launch Financial Services: Looks to Expand Access to Credit for Southeast Asia’s Unbanked

Grab Inc. (Grab), an on-demand transportation and fintech platform in Southeast Asia, announced on Tuesday it has teamed up with Credit Saison Co., Ltd. (Credit Saison), one of Japan’s largest consumer financing companies, to provide loans and lending services to millions of unbanked and underbanked consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses across Southeast Asia.

According to the duo, the joint venture company, which is called Grab Financial Services Asia, will draw on Grab’s reach to millions of Southeast Asian consumers, micro-entrepreneurs and small businesses, and vast datasets on consumer behaviour, as well as Credit Saison’s expertise in credit analysis and consumer lending, to offer micro-financing products and services tailored specifically for Southeast Asia’s growing economies.

Grab Financial Services Asia taps into Grab’s huge cache of customer data gathered from the Grab app, which processes over a billion transactions annually, to provide a sophisticated, alternative resource for measuring credit ratings. By analyzing behaviour and transaction data from the app, such as transport movements, geo-location, and GrabPay transaction data, the company can offer alternative data points to assess credit worthiness, filling the gap left by traditional credit scoring methods. Using this data and Credit Saison’s expertise in credit scoring, risk management, and product formulation, the JV will offer a range of lending products and services. In the early stages, the JV will focus on providing products to meet the needs of Grab drivers, agents and merchants, such as working capital loans, financing for smartphones and durable goods, as well as consumer goods financing.

While sharing more details about the financial services, Jason Thompson, Managing Director, Grab Financial, and Director, Grab Financial Services Asia, stated:

“The new joint venture, Grab Financial Services Asia, puts in place a much-needed infrastructure that will accelerate financial inclusion in Southeast Asia. Many in our region have no access to loans that they can use to purchase a new home or grow their small business. GFSA is building a reliable alternative to traditional credit scoring methods that is customised for the unbanked majority of consumers and small businesses in Southeast Asia, which will create economic opportunity for millions across the region.”

Hiroshi Rinno, CEO of Credit Saison, then added:

“Grab is one of the most trusted and widely used platforms in Southeast Asia, with millions of people relying on the app every day, which gives it a highly valuable insight on consumer behaviour in real-time. This partnership opens up so many possibilities for Credit Saison, for Grab, and most importantly Southeast Asia’s unbanked and underbanked, and we are excited to get started.”


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