[THE INVESTOR] SINGAPORE -- Southeast Asia’s largest taxi-hailing app operator Grab on March 13 announced its new joint venture Grab Financial with Japanese consumer financing company Credit Saison to provide loans and lending services to millions of micro-entrepreneurs across the region.
Grab will provide its vast consumer data based on its reach to millions of consumers across the region, while Saison will offer its expertise in credit analysis and consumer lending.
“We aim to make these micro-entrepreneurs who used to be invisible more visible to financial institutions,” Anthony Tan, Grab CEO, said during the Money20/20 fintech conference in Singapore, calling the new lending business “core to our business.”
Grab CEO Anthony Tan
Grab, widely known as “Southeast Asia’s Uber,” operates services in 191 cities in eight countries, with mobile downloads totaling about 86 million. The firm said its taxi app alone generates more than 5 million micro-entrepreneurs, including 2.6 million drivers.
By analyzing behavior and transaction data from the app such as transport movement, geo-location and GrabPay transaction data, the firm said it can offer alternative data points to asset credit worthiness, filling the gap left by traditional credit scoring methods.
The firm added the JV will offer credit scoring services to financial institutes who can use the information to provide other services such as virtual credit cards as well as seeking constant partnership with other banks and financial institutions in Southeast Asia and beyond.
By Lee Ji-yoon (firstname.lastname@example.org)