Ride-sharing operator eyes mobile payment market in Indonesia

Grab extends its existing partnership with Lippo Group in Indonesia, where it plans to integrate the latter's payment platform to enable customers to pay for goods and services via its mobile app.

Grab has unveiled a new agreement in Indonesia to enable the payment of various retail goods and services in Indonesia through its ride-sharing mobile app.

The initiative extends its existing partnership with Indonesian consumer services company, Lippo Group, with which it signed an agreement in March. With more than 50 million customers between the two companies, the new e-payment platform will allow these consumers to tap their mobile phones or the Grab mobile app to pay for goods and services under Lippo's retail network including department stores, hypermarts, cinemas, coffee shops as well as e-commerce portals.

Lippo would build the payment platform, with which Indonesian consumers would be able to top up and store value in an e-money account for payment at its retail outlets. Grab then would integrate the tool into its own mobile wallet option, GrabPay, to facilitate payment through its app.

The payments platform was scheduled to be deployed across Lippo Group companies and integrated with the Grab app "in phases" from the fourth quarter, according to their joint statement.

Grab CEO and Co-founder Anthony Tan said: "With a rapidly growing middle class, people will want to have a mobile wallet option in the Grab app that they can use every day--whether for transport or payments for basic transactions."

Pointing to the growth potential of mobile payments in the region, Tan added: "The majority in Southeast Asia are unbanked, but are armed with mobile phones. We need to find a cashless solution that helps them manage their money and mobile wallets is one way forward."

Grab's Indonesia managing director, Ridzki Kramadibrata, said the Asian market was the company's largest and the ride-sharing operator was investing to develop new services catering to local preferences.

He further noted that almost 95 percent of the Indonesian population did not use credit cards and the development of mobile cashless payments in the country offered significant opportunity.