Grab Financial will come under the purview of a joint venture company called Grab Financial Services Asia that the company has set up with Japanese finance company Credit Saison. Hence, this news might be a start to something big Grab has planned.
"We aim to make these micro-entrepreneurs who used to be invisible more visible to financial institutions", Anthony Tan, Grab CEO, said during the Money20/20 fintech conference in Singapore, calling the new lending business "core to our business".
The lending service will be part of the newly announced Grab Financial, a platform which wraps all of its financial technology (fintech) offerings - payments services, rewards and loyalty programmes, financial services and agent services.
The service will be rolled out this year to all the Southeast Asia markets Grab is in now, the executive said.
Here's what we understand of Grab Financial.
Grab which started off as a ride-sharing app and faces competition from companies like Uber has been making its way into the financial services over the last two years by teaming and acquiring companies to spread usage of its mobile wallet.
GrabPay's Southeast Asia managing director Jason Thompson said: "Many in our region have no access to loans that they can use to purchase a new home or grow their small business".
Grab Financial Services Asia taps into the firm's huge cache of customer data gathered from the Grab app, which processes over a billion transactions annually, to provide an alternative resource for measuring credit ratings.
Using the data, combined with Credit Saison's expertise in credit scoring, risk management and product formulation, the new entity can offer a range of lending products and services mentioned above, Grab said.
Separately, Grab has also signed a partnership with property and casualty insurance company, Chubb, to offer insurance plans to Grab's drivers and customers. Our insurance partnership is evolving from traditional group personal accident coverage for drivers to more digital options directly offered from the Grab app.
Today, the Grab app has been downloaded onto over 86 million mobile devices, offering private vehicle, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services, as well as on-demand food and delivery services across 191 cities in 8 countries in Southeast Asia.
And they may be the bigger victor behind the scenes.