Uber Rival Plans Mobile Wallet Launch

Grub Thinks Mobile Payments

There’s a reason Uber has managed to define the ridesharing market, and it’s not without cause that its ever-evolving business model has eminent appeal overseas. However, that doesn’t mean Kalanick and friends have the run of the place, especially as far as Southeast Asia’s Grab is concerned.

Grab announced on Friday (July 22) that it had struck a deal with Indonesia’s Lippo Group. The end result: Grab will implement a fully vetted mobile payments platform that will enable 50 million customers to use their Grab App to pay for purchases at convenience stores, cafes, department stores and, yes, rides.

It’s a move that Grab Cofounder and CEO Anthony Tan said could tap into an unrealized power of Southeast Asian consumers.

“The potential of developing a mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia is limitless,” Tan said in a statement. “The majority in Southeast Asia are unbanked but are armed with mobile phones. We need to find a cashless solution that helps them manage their money, and mobile wallets is one way forward. This partnership with Lippo Group is another step in Grab’s goal to provide a mobile payments solution to millions in our region. We will work with local partners to make cashless transactions a reality for the majority in Southeast Asia.”

Going into general retail might not leave any boots at Uber headquarters shaking, but it could give Grab a leg-up in consumer acquisition. That is, if it can help its new customers find any good boots on sale.