Grab Users Can Soon Pay Bills And Make Purchases With Mobile Wallet
Filipinos can soon use the mobile wallet service GrabPay to pay bills, order food online and make in-store payments.
Ride hailing service provider Grab has just announced that it has obtained an electronic money (e-money) license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
In a statement on Thursday, September 27, Grab said it plans to roll out GrabPay as a digital payment app for retail purchases by Q1 or Q2.
“Today, we are happy to announce that GrabPay has been granted an e-money license, which opens up all kinds of possibilities. With the license, we can be able to provide more services to our payment platform,” Ooi Huey Tyng, managing director of Grabpay Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines said.
At present, Grab users in the Philippines can already use their e-wallet to pay for their ride bookings as well as for using Grab’s local express delivery service and transfer credits to other users.
With the e-money license, Grab is poised to introduce a range of other payments options. The ride-hailing company is planning to introduce bill payment in the coming weeks.
“So today in the Philippines, one in every two smartphones already have our application downloaded. Our goal is to be the regional wallet or the Southeast Asia wallet. And all we want to do is to move Southeast Asia forward in digital payments. For the Philippines, we are present in 10 cities already and I would say that we would continue to grow as we expand further as well,” she added.
In future, Ooi stated that the ride-hailing app drivers will be enabled to top-up their customer’s e-wallets with credits, aside from soon-to-be-launched partners such as convenience stores and kiosk operators. Other services in the pipeline will include airtime top up, bills payment, remittance, money transfer and retail.
However, the challenge remains in market penetration. BSN data reveals that more than 98 percent of total transactions in the Philippines is still in cash, while 86 percent of the country’s population has no bank account.
Ooi noted that Grab’s large customer base will help encourage the adoption of mobile payments among local merchants as its ride hailing servicves receives more than 600,000 booking requests per day, and has over 35,000 driver partners in Manila alone as well as operations in nine other Philippine cities.