By Rhea Vitto Tabora, Contributor
In a world where customers crave for more convenience, easier accessibility of products and speed of service, it is amazing to see how a ride-hailing app can evolve into so much more. Grab, one of the most used transport platforms in Southeast Asia, has been operating in the Philippines for almost six years with its GrabTaxi, GrabCar, GrabShare and GrabExpress.
Leveraging the newest technologies and growing digital economy, the company had unveiled its smart city vision to become an everyday app for consumers. From ride-hailing innovation, Grab will be offering its customers an expanded digital experience through its one-stop app, covering services such as food delivery, multi-modal transport service, cashless payments, and even financial services for the un-banked and under-banked consumers.
Newest food delivery platform
The newly-launched GrabFood allows consumers to order food from nearby restaurants, with no minimum order requirement.
“GrabFood is the next major step in our move to serve the daily needs of consumers,” said Brian Cu, country head of Grab Philippines. “Food delivery is a natural extension of our transport offerings. Each day, millions of people in Southeast Asia rely on ride-hailing services to bring them from place to place, as well as food delivery services to save them from traveling around in congested cities to satisfy their cravings. With the expansion of GrabFood across the region, we are working with local merchants and delivery partners to deliver the best of Manila’s kitchen to the doorsteps of our consumers.”
When the customer places an order through GrabFood, the app will automatically detect the customer’s location to make more personalized recommendations of nearby restaurants. After entering the delivery address and completing the order within the app, the consumers can track the location of the delivery real-time. There is also a GrabChat function that allows the consumers to communicate with the delivery partner about their specific food requests. The current mode of payment is limited to cash on delivery, but Grab is now working on enabling GrabPay cashless option for a more seamless transaction.
GrabFood is currently available in 600 establishments in Makati City, Bonifacio Global City, Ortigas, San Juan, Mandaluyong, and Quezon City, and the list is growing.
Multi-modal transport service
Moving beyond the existing ride-hailing services, Grab’s larger mobility vision for consumers is having a multi-modal transport service that enables the consumers to mix and match different transport options based on their preferences and budget — all through one Grab app. Imagine starting your ride with a shuttle bus, then a public transport and finally a GrabCar to your final destination, seamlessly using just one app.
Seamless and mobile transaction
As digital wallets and cashless transactions continue to evolve in the consumer banking landscape, GrabPay also expands its mobile wallet from transport to food user base. This cashless payment service offers both consumers and merchants a more seamless way of transacting.
In the near future, Grab will further move beyond the transport and logistics services with their fintech offerings, addressing the needs of millions of un-banked and under-banked customers, drivers, and small businesses. With this service, Grab aims to bring these people who never come online, or never set up bank accounts before, into the digital economy. Grab Financial Services will provide financial access and literacy to Filipino drivers and partners, leveraging big data to provide formal credit scoring and lending services to the middle economy.
Grab is in the process of obtaining approval from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to roll this out.
Innovation continues at Grab for the benefit of the app users as well as the merchants providing the products and services.
“We are in a position to power this future of smart cities for consumers because of the interconnectedness of each of our service and how they help each other grow,” said Cu in a statement. “Transport allows us to expand our GrabFood and Grab Financial Services. Our GrabPay mobile wallet will be used for both transport and food, two of the most relevant use cases in Southeast Asia. By building a technology platform that serves the most important everyday lifestyle needs of consumers, we are benefitting an entire ecosystem of connected users who are not only passengers and driver partners, but also increasingly agents, merchants, and delivery partners. We can help everyone, particularly micro-entrepreneurs, grow their businesses and serve consumers better with how each of our service is interlinked.”