March 19, 2019 / 9:15 AM / 10 months ago

Southeast Asia's Grab makes deeper push into consumer credit, lending

A Grab motorbike helmet is displayed during Grab's fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Southeast Asia’s Grab said on Tuesday it would offer consumer credit and expand its lending to small businesses as part of the ride-hailing firm’s big push into the financial services sector, an area it has earmarked for growth.

Grab is pursuing lending licenses across Southeast Asia, it said on Tuesday.

“Over time as we acquire the necessary licences to do that (lending), we will do that ourselves and together with our partners,” Reuben Lai, senior managing director, Grab Financial, told reporters on the sidelines of the Money 20/20 fintech conference.

While the company is satisfied operating across markets under various licences, Lai said it would apply for a banking licence if needed.

Grab also plans to offer an interest-free instalment product for consumer purchases under its existing joint venture with Japanese credit card company Credit Saison.

Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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