Singapore-based Grab may sell its Thai business stake to Central Group

central group

Reportedly, Grab is interested in doing business with JD Central.

According to reports, Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab is in talks to sell out its Thai business stake to Thailand’s largest retailer, Central Group. The talks are in the rise as Grab faces a tough competition from Go-Jek, an Indonesian start-up, which has plans for investment in Thailand and other countries in the region. If the deal with Central Group goes further, it will expand Grab’s existing tie-up with the retailers, just beyond food delivery to areas such as digital payment and e-commerce.

Nattabhorn Juengsanguansit, Director, Asia Group Advisors, reported, “Aligning itself with the Central Group could help Grab get faster approvals in developing its ride-hailing and digital payments businesses.” She added, “The deal represents potential synergies for both sides, for example in lowering transportation costs for Central’s food and e-commerce businesses.”

No comments from both the parties

Grab, which counts Uber Technologies, Toyota Motor, Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp, and China’s ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing among its backers, stated that it would not comment on “rumors and speculation”. Central did not revert to a request for comment.

Jay Harriman, Senior Director, Bower Group Asia, Said, “The deal could also help Grab navigate required new regulatory standards”

Expansion of GrabPay Wallet

Recently, Grab has announced the expansion of its GrabPay mobile wallet services in the Philippines, as its e-money license is approved from central bank Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Earlier to this, Grab users in the Philippines could use GrabPay to pay only for rides, express delivery, and peer-to-peer credit transfer. Now, Grab users can also recharge their prepaid cards, and soon order food, settle bills, and pay for purchases from various stores and restaurants in-app.

Customer Loyalty Programme by GrabPay

The newly added services also allow customers to earn points with app’s loyalty program, GrabRewards, which offers from partners such as SM Cinema, Cebu Pacific flights, McDonald’s, and Globe prepaid.

Ooi Huey Tyng, Managing Director, GrabPay Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, stated, “The Philippines has one of the highest percentages of people in Southeast Asia who do not have a bank account and who transact in cash.” He added, “We believe Grab can make a difference where other e-wallets have not been able to so far. With the support from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, we can now help millions participate in the cashless, digital economy without the need for a bank account or to download additional apps.”

GrabPay app to add new features for Filipino users

Very soon, Filipino Grab users will be able to experience the all-new interface, which allows quick access to the GrabPay wallet, easy navigation to all Grab services, and personalized news feed. The news feed will feature news, reviews, and entertainment. Grab users will also be able to view nearby restaurant recommendations, play games, and get exclusive deals from shops.