Grab unifies all its digital financial service products under new GrabFin brand

Head of GrabFin Singapore Wong Wenbin said there will be a balance struck between seamless access and security. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - Grab has unified all its financial service products, digital payments, insurance, as well as lending and wealth management offerings, under a new brand called GrabFin.

GrabFin and Digibanks - Grab's regional digital banking business - together make up Grab Financial Group (GFG), the fintech platform of Grab, one of South-east Asia's super apps.

GrabFin will be rolled out in Singapore and Malaysia - two countries where it has won digital banking licences.

GXS Bank, Grab's digital banking joint venture with Singtel, is reportedly set to launch in Singapore in the second half of this year.

In Malaysia, Grab - together with partners Singtel and Kuok Brothers - bagged one of the full digital bank licences offered by the central bank last month (April 29).

Following the roll-out in Singapore and Malaysia by the end of the second quarter, GrabFin will be introduced to other South-east Asian markets in the second half of the year.

GrabFin reinforces the company's promise to serve the unbanked in six South-east Asian countries - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

Mr Lim Kell Jay, head of GrabFin, said it will provide financial services on a single platform that Grab users are already familiar with and access daily, adding that the process will be as easy as booking a ride.

Mr Wong Wenbin, head of GrabFin Singapore, added that there will be a balance struck between seamless access and security, especially in today's world where there are risks of frauds and scams.

He added that Grab's risk engine will look out for unusual transactions or higher ticket transactions, and the user will be asked to input his PIN number so there is an additional layer of authentication.

In a move to broaden the financial offerings under GrabFin, GFG on Monday (May 23) introduced its second investment product, Earn+, for Grab users in Singapore.

This comes one and a half years after the launch of AutoInvest, a micro-investment solution that incorporates investing into day-to-day activities.

AutoInvest works in this way: Every time a Grab user spends, say $5, he chooses to put aside an amount of his choice, say $1 or $5. That money is then invested.

AutoInvest, therefore, turns his spending into a saving and investment habit, and also incorporates the concept of dollar-cost averaging into investments. That way, an investor invests, whether markets are up or down, and minimises his risks.

Earn+ yields projected returns of between 2 per cent and 2.5 per cent a year.

It invests in low-risk, investment-grade bond portfolios managed by Fullerton Fund Management and UOB Asset Management.

Investors start with a minimum sum of $1, and there is no maximum investment limit or lock-in period. Investors do not have to pay a penalty or early withdrawal charges. They will, however, have to pay a fee of 0.59 per cent per annum. That works out to 59 cents for every $100 invested.

Investors can redeem their holdings and transfer the money to their GrabPay wallets or bank accounts.

Earn+ is, however, not capital guaranteed, unlike bank deposits which are protected by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation for up to $75,000 per depositor.

Commenting on the timing of the Earn+ launch, amid a more volatile market environment, Mr Wong said it is not so straightforward to time the market.

He added that Earn+ should complement other investments, as part of a more diversified portfolio.

Last Thursday (May 19), Grab reported first-quarter earnings that were an improvement from the previous quarter, buoyed by a 6 per cent year-on-year growth in revenues which were driven by strength in the delivery business and financial services unit.

Quarterly losses fell to US$435 million (S$598 million), the first fall in 18 months.

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