A multi-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) was announced on February 1, between ride-hailing company Grab and Samsung Electronics. The two industry leaders will be collaborating on a number of projects aimed to advance the benefits of technological innovations such as improved customer benefits and better opportunities for income to the myriad app users and driver-partners throughout the Southeast Asian region.
Grab, which serves 8 countries and 168 cities across the region, is the number one on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, with more than 3.5 million rides daily. Over 77 million people have downloaded the app onto their devices. This industry, expected to be worth $25 billion in 2022, is experiencing rapid growth among Internet services sectors. Grab has partnered with tech giant Samsung, one of the biggest electronics companies around the globe.
Together, Grab and Samsung aim to develop a broad range of solutions tailor-made for the ride-hailing industry, such as innovative mobility solutions, better options for customer experiences and booking, as well as micro-financing plans for the 2.3 million Grab driver-partners. Grab and Samsung also aim to not only penetrate the scattered mobile payments systems in the region, but also come up with their own innovation for mobile payments to suit the needs of Southeast Asian consumers.
This collaboration will be presented in different phases in all of the countries where Grab operates in the region. For the first phase, three initiatives have been announced, which are, firstly: As part of Grab’s Better 365 Program, partner-drivers are to receive access to micro-financing for technologically-advanced mobile devices with better software and security. This was actually begun in Myanmar during the last quarter of 2017. Driver-partners in Myanmar have been given the opportunity to buy Samsung devices via micro-loans from CB Bank. So far, over 1,400 drivers have availed of this micro-financing benefit.
Secondly, Grab will increase the number of GrabBooths and GrabKiosks in various public locations throughout the region. These will have Samsung devices that allow for booking rides even without data connectivity, due to the pre-installed Grab enterprise app. Grab has also improved customer’s experiences in GrabBooths and GrabKiosks in Myanmar and Indonesia by installing their devices with Samsung’s Knox enterprise mobile security software. This has caused heightened information security on the devices as well as decreased downtime and cost for maintenance, giving better service to customers. Other Southeast Asian countries will follow suit this year.
Third, Grab will provide infotainment via multimedia services in selected cars in Singapore. This will be done through Samsung tablets found in these cars, giving riders an opportunity to view the content, should they wish to do so.
According to Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder of Grab, “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. Mobile technology can bridge the infrastructural divide and make economic growth more inclusive. Samsung is one of the world’s most innovative technology companies, and we’re thrilled to partner with them to empower more people in Southeast Asia to improve their livelihoods and provide more digital services for everyone on the Grab platform.”
Sangchul Lee, President and CEO, Samsung Electronics, Southeast Asia & Oceania, said, “Here at Samsung, developing meaningful innovations for the betterment of our consumers’ lives is always at the heart of what we do. We believe in the Internet of Things; the various benefits a more digitally connected world brings, and we are excited to be partnering Grab to provide consumers within the region an enhanced array of digital solutions for their everyday needs. Through this collaboration, we hope to explore how we can work together to tap into the massive growth opportunity of Southeast Asia’s digital economy.”