Grab Financial Group (GFG) announced a robust suite of financial products and services, including its first micro-investment solution AutoInvest, offered by GrabInvest, that will be launched under the ‘Thrive with Grab’ strategy. This expands GFG’s range of consumer offerings in order to tap into Southeast Asia (SEA)’s vast mass market financial services opportunity.
‘Thrive with Grab’ marks the next step in GFG’s journey. It aims to empower individuals to grow their personal wealth, manage their finances and protect what they value. It builds on last year’s ‘Grow with Grab’ initiative, where GFG’s merchant financial services ecosystem was born.
The three main products GFG is launching under ‘Thrive with Grab’ are: micro-investment solution AutoInvest, consumer loans via its third-party loan platform and buy-now-pay-later payment plans for select e-commerce websites.
Reuben Lai, the senior managing director of Grab Financial Group, said, “Our ‘Thrive with Grab’ strategy will enable users to build their wealth, manage their finances and protect what they value during this uncertain period. By offering innovative micro-transaction-based financial services, convenient financial management tools and access to products from leading global financial institutions, we hope to unlock the tremendous potential in financial services in the region in ways that serve all Southeast Asians.”
Since GFG launched its consumer insurance business last year, it has seen robust growth across the region, with more than 13 million insurance policies issued since April 2019. GFG is now one of the largest digital insurance distributors in Southeast Asia for its insurance partner, Chubb. GFG has also expanded its small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) lending to four countries to support its food and payments merchants with working capital loans.
According to a Google, Temasek and Bain & Company report, more than 70% of Southeast Asians are underbanked, while an estimated $75 billion in assets under management will flow to digital channels by 2025. GFG aims to tap this massive opportunity in order to improve financial inclusion and unlock new revenue streams for Grab.
With its Bento acquisition earlier in 2020, GFG aims to democratise wealth management through micro-investments that make investments accessible to everyone.
Chandrima Das, the head of wealth at Grab Financial Group, said, “We are excited to launch AutoInvest, the first-of-its-kind micro-investment solution in Singapore that allows users to ‘invest as they spend’. AutoInvest is our commitment to bring value to our consumers and partners with innovative, accessible and easy-to-understand investment solutions. As we build out our wealth management offerings under GFG’s ‘Thrive with Grab’ strategy, we aim to better provide millions across SEA with the opportunity to invest in financial products traditionally limited to affluent individuals and institutional investors.”
AutoInvest monies are invested into high quality, liquid fixed income funds offered by Fullerton Fund Management and UOB Asset Management. AutoInvest charges a low all-inclusive fee, and will be available to eligible users in Singapore via the Invest tile managed by GrabInvest in the Grab app in early September.
Demand for online consumer lending continues to grow as more Southeast Asians transact digitally. External research has shown that more than one-third of consumers are willing to shift some banking activities, such as loans, to non-bank digital platforms. Together with its partner OVO, GFG has close to 400,000 outstanding loans and financing solutions across consumers, driver- and merchant-partners in the first quarter of 2020.
GFG will launch a third-party consumer loan platform, starting in Singapore, before expanding to Malaysia and other countries. Consumers will be able to discover personal loans offered by GFG’s licensed bank partners to service their everyday borrowing needs.
GFG is also expanding its ‘buy-now-pay-later’ line of offerings by launching PayLater Instalments and PayLater Postpaid on select e-commerce sites in Singapore and Malaysia in October.
In August 2019, GFG and NTUC Income jointly launched Southeast Asia’s first micro-insurance plan for critical illness in an innovative ‘pay-per-trip’ structure for driver-partners. This year, GFG launched its Ride Cover micro-insurance policy in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Ride Cover protects users while on Grab rides and will expand into more countries in Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, by the end of 2020.
In the coming months, GFG will also launch a new product, Hospital Cash Cover, in Indonesia, to protect users when they are hospitalised. This will be GFG’s first hospitalisation insurance plan for consumers.
“This launch represents a key milestone in building on our success last year, where we launched our merchant ecosystem. Today, ‘Thrive with Grab’ is all about building a world-class consumer ecosystem, as we want to empower individuals and small businesses across the region to meet their diverse needs through financial services by delivering products and solutions that are accessible, transparent and convenient,” Reuben concluded.
Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker