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FINTECH

Inside Grab: Where southeast Asia’s most ambitious fintech goes next

Grab Financial launched a suite of new products on Tuesday, continuing a swift expansion that has yet to be accompanied by profitability.

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On Tuesday, Grab Financial Group, the fintech attached to the southeast Asian ride-hailing and food delivery leader, announced a set of new products and services from investment to insurance to third-party lending.

None of them, individually, is truly a game-changer. In aggregate, though, they offer a snapshot of a fast-expanding regional enterprise that isn’t going to wait to find out if it’s got a Singapore digital bank licence before setting an ambitious course.

We have come a long way since Grab launched its GrabPay Wallet in 2017 to tie in with its ride-hailing service. Already it feels like it has been around for ever in Singapore, steadily entwining itself with the everyday lives of consumers as all the best fintechs do.

First through reward points, then insurance joint ventures (ZhongAn) and credit cards (Citi, then a numberless card with Mastercard), the company has sought out niches and filled them where licences permit, mainly in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, but increasingly across all of southeast Asia, framing the whole thing with its vision of accessibility and inclusion.