Grab and Samsung Electronics have signed a multi-year MoU to drive digital inclusion in Southeast Asia via a wide range of initiatives to improve income opportunities to consumers and Grab driver-partners across Southeast Asia.
As part of the strategic collaboration, Grab and Samsung will develop customized solutions for the ride-hailing industry, including micro-financing schemes for Grab’s driver-partners across SEA, improved customer booking and in-car experiences, and new mobility solutions.
The two companies will also work together to expand into Southeast Asia’s fragmented mobile payments ecosystem and provide a mobile payments solution that will serve the needs of consumers in Southeast Asia.
“Southeast Asia is home to the world’s fastest growing emerging markets, yet many in the smaller towns and cities do not have easy access to the growing digital economy,” said Anthony Tan, group CEO and co-founder of Grab. “Mobile technology can bridge the infrastructural divide and make economic growth more inclusive.”
The strategic collaboration will be rolled out in phases across all countries in Southeast Asia that Grab operates in. In phase 1, Grab and Samsung are offering a micro-financing program for Grab driver-partners focused on reducing the cost of purchasing a smartphone and lower ongoing maintenance costs. This initiative was piloted in Myanmar in Q4 2017, and will soon be rolled out across the region.
Grab will also introduce more GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in busy consumer hubs such as shopping malls, hotels and airports. The kiosks have already been rolled out in Indonesia and Myanmar, and feature Samsung devices with the Grab enterprise app pre-installed, allowing individuals and concierge services to book a Grab ride for themselves or others, even when they do not have data connectivity. Grab and Samsung will roll out more GrabKiosks and GrabBooths in Vietnam and Singapore in Q1, and other countries in Southeast Asia later in the year.
The initial phase will also include a pilot of in-car multimedia services in Singapore, installing Samsung tablets inside cars for customers to view infotainment content, if they choose to, during their ride. This will be piloted throughout Southeast Asia this year.