According to an exclusive interview in Reuters, Singapore-based ride-hailing firm Grab is set to invest “several hundred million dollars” in Vietnam where the company sees its next major growth market, just weeks after it unveiled a $2 billion plan in Indonesia.
Ming Maa, President of Grab told Reuters: “We’re very excited about Vietnam. We see very similar characteristics to Indonesia.”
Additionally, Maa commented that “like Indonesia, many middle class and young consumers in Vietnam are using apps and websites to access services.”
“I would expect us to invest over several hundred million dollars into growing our Vietnam business,” he said in the report.
By using deflationary forces like digital banking, we are able to provide very similar sets of financial services at much lower cost than what traditional banks are able to provide.
– Ming Maa, President, Grab
Grab Develops Its Financial Services
On the other hand, Maa also mentioned that Grab is “just at the tip of the iceberg for financial services” – adding that developing the region’s largest payment mobile wallet gave Grab valuable data insight into customers and drivers on its network.
According to the report, it wants to use those insights to create specific financial products including in insurance, credit and ultimately wealth management offerings.
Maa also said that Grab is interested in taking up a digital banking licence in Singapore, where the central bank has announced plans to issue up to five online-only bank licences, and is expected to provide detailed guidelines in a few weeks.
“By using deflationary forces like digital banking, we are able to provide very similar sets of financial services at much lower cost than what traditional banks are able to provide,” said Maa.
Grab’s interest in digital finance shows how non-banking firms in Asia are shaping up as potential rivals to traditional banks by leveraging their technology and user databases to offer banking services to retail customers and small businesses.