KBank partners with Grab to push mobile payments wider

KBank's strategic investment is part of Grab’s ongoing fundraising round, and Grab Financial is now the first financial services platform available in all ASEAN-6 markets

Grab, one of Southeast Asia's most prominent online-to-offline (O2O) platforms, and KASIKORNBANK (KBank), a major Thailand-based financial conglomerate, have formed a strategic partnership to introduce GrabPay by KBank, a co-branded mobile wallet, as well as a suite of other financial solutions in Thailand.

With this partnership, Grab Financial marks the expansion of its mobile wallet to all ASEAN-6 countries - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines, and Thailand.

"In 2018, Grab Financial has established itself as Southeast Asia's leading fintech platform, both in terms of monthly active users (MAU) and total payments volume (TPV). This partnership makes Grab Financial the first mobile payments platform to launch e-money-licensed payments services across ASEAN-6 and underlines the strength of our partnership-based strategy. By opening up our platform, we have attracted many of the leading players in the financial services industry and driven exponential growth for our business," says Reuben Lai, senior managing director, Grab Financial.

Patchara Samalapa, president, KASIKORNBANK says, "KASIKORNBANK has bold ambitions of becoming the digital bank of choice in the region. We look forward to developing innovative financial products together, which will put KBank in a position to tap into the rapidly growing digital economy across the region."

The partnership comes with a strategic investment from KBank in Grab, and is part of Grab's ongoing fundraising round, which includes Toyota Motor Corporation, Microsoft Corp., Booking Holdings, Hyundai Motor Group, Oppenheimer Funds, and other leading global investors. The investment is a first for KBank in an international company with a core business outside of

Thailand, calling to attention the size of the opportunity Grab's ASEAN-wide user base offers, even to leading financial institutions.

According to Bank of Thailand, 68% of all transactions in Thailand are carried out in cash, which costs the Thai economy millions of baht each year. The strategic partnership has a mission to make it easier for consumers and entrepreneurs across Thailand to adopt cashless transactions.

"We approach the challenge of cashless payments from a consumer perspective. Users don't want a separate e-wallet for every type of purchase. By opening up our platform to leading financial institutions, we ensure our users can go beyond the Grab platform and pay for all types of services, from streetside stalls to e-commerce, online services and financial services increasingly as well," says Reuben Lai, senior managing director, Grab Financial.