Grab Empowers Small and Micro Businesses with New Open Platform

Singapore’s Grab is continuing its push to be central to the lives of Southeast Asians.

The company originated as a ride-hailing app but has an expansive vision that includes mobile payments as a significant component. It’s allowing other businesses to integrate their services with the Grab app and access the company’s technology, enabling partner integrations through a suite of APIs called GrabPlatform, the company said in a press release.

Grab is touting the platform as a way for micro-entrepreneurs and other small businesses to benefit from the infrastructure the company has built. Businesses can work with the platform in a variety of ways, the company said, including accessing its distribution channels or engaging with Grab’s user base through the app.

They can also integrate Grab’s technology – including using GrabPay for mobile payments – into their own apps and web sites.

“Over the past six years, we’ve worked hard to improve our technology and expand our reach. Our assets are well tested through Grab’s own services. We’ve gone from offering our tech as a booking platform for taxi operators, to providing a fleet of delivery drivers for e-commerce companies,” Anthony Tan, Group CEO & co-founder of Grab, said in a press release.

“It’s now time to take what we’re really good at to a select group of partners – and eventually make our platform open to the wider Southeast Asia ecosystem. With over 100 million mobile installs, a network of 7.1 million drivers, delivery partners, merchants and agents, and strong payments and back-end technology, we are better placed than anyone else in the region to help other start-ups and businesses grow and scale, as we have,” he said.

The company has expressed the desire to drive financial inclusion – enabling digital payments for unbanked consumers and small businesses – across Southeast Asia.

Grab’s mobile payments platform has grown rapidly since expanding beyond enabling payments for its transportation services late last year. It said in January that it had onboarded 1,000 merchants in Singapore during the two months it had been operating in stores and restaurants.

The company also announced in its latest press release that its payments volume has more than doubled over the first five months of 2018.