Southeast Asia focused ride-hailing service Grab has secured a licence from Bank Negara Malaysia, the Malaysian central bank, to offer GrabPay e-money services in the country.
GrabPay supports online transport services, allow users to pay for food and gadgets, as well as make transfers to friends. The app will be rolled out in phases to Malaysian consumers and merchants, starting from the first half of 2018.
Bank Negara statistics reveal that cash handling and services cost Malaysia’s banking sector MYR1.8bn ($441.9m) annually, while electronic payments may save up to 1% of a country’s economy.
GrabPay managing director Jason Thompson said: “Cash is still the most important payment method for many Malaysian SMEs and middle-class consumers, despite most adults having a deposit account.
“As one of the region’s most frequently used consumer apps with 72 million downloads, we are happy to work with Bank Negara to drive mass adoption of mobile payments in Malaysia and across Southeast Asia.”
Grab Malaysia country head Sean Goh added: “The enhanced GrabPay e-wallet will offer a lot of value to Malaysians. It’s secure, simple and rewarding to use. Moreover, SMEs can tap into Grab’s large pool of consumers without the hefty burden of big advertising and marketing budgets.”