Ride-hailing app Grab launches e-payment and fund transfer system

Grab also aims to work with more than 1,000 merchants in the retail, entertainment and food and beverage industries to accept mobile payments through GrabPay in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Grab also aims to work with more than 1,000 merchants in the retail, entertainment and food and beverage industries to accept mobile payments through GrabPay in the fourth quarter of 2017. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Ride-hailing app Grab is extending its reach into the wider e-payment market, by allowing users to transfer funds to each other and, in the coming months, make payment at merchant partners.

The Malaysian company announced on Wednesday (Aug 30) that users will be able to transfer GrabPay credits between themselves via its in-app mobile wallet. Apple users using iOS can start using this feature on Wednesday (Aug 30), while Android users will be able to do so on Monday, Sept 4.

GrabPay credits are used to store value in customers' accounts to pay for rides.

Grab also aims to work with more than 1,000 merchants in the retail, entertainment and food and beverage industries to accept mobile payments through GrabPay in the fourth quarter of 2017. Grab's primary targets are hawker stalls and small retail shops that current do not accept cashless payments.

Singapore is the first country Grab is rolling out this e-payment option in.

Users can send credits to each other by either keying in the receiver's phone number or by scanning a QR code on the receiver's phone. They will be able to pay merchants by scanning a QR code on the store.

This comes just a month after it opened up the feature for users to pay for street-hailed taxis through the app, which transport experts predicted was the first step in Grab's move to design a general e-payment system.

Previously, GrabPay credits were used only to pay for rides made on the Grab app between riders and drivers.

Mr Jason Thompson, head of GrabPay said: "As one of the most frequently used consumer apps, we believe Grab can drive mass adoption of mobile payments in Singapore and across Southeast Asia."

Grab's move introduces another e-payment option into an already crowded - and fragmented - market.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called attention to this in his National Day Rally speech two weeks ago, when he made the call to the industry to "simplify and integrate" various e-payment options here.