Seize the launch of a micro-investment product, a consumer credit platform, business and market news and current affairs

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Grab’s financial services arm, Grab Financial Group (GFG), is deploying a micro-investment product and a third-party lending platform for its users.

The investment product, called AutoInvest, will allow users to invest sums as small as $ 1 while spending in the Grab ecosystem. This comes after Grab announced in February the acquisition of Singapore-based robo-advisory start-up, Bento, which enables the group to offer retail wealth management solutions.

Singapore users can choose how much they want to invest per Grab transaction. The money is invested in fixed income funds offered by Fullerton Fund Management and UOB Asset Management.

Returns of around 1.8% per year will be cashed in users’ GrabPay wallets. The fees charged by the managers of the underlying funds will be reflected in the performance of the users’ portfolio in the application; these charges will be less than 0.45 percent per annum.

The invested amount can be withdrawn at any time, without penalty, to be spent on Grab services or at any merchant accepting the GrabPay card. Grab will not charge any transaction fees for investing in AutoInvest.

The product, which will be launched early next month, is not capital guaranteed.

Meanwhile, as part of GFG’s consumer credit platform, users will have access to personal loans offered by licensed banking partners. Banking partners and GFG will integrate their application programming interfaces so that users can securely apply for loans directly in the Grab app.

GFG’s range of “buy now, pay later” offers will also be extended to select e-commerce sites in Singapore and Malaysia in October. Eligible users will be able to shop online and pay in monthly interest-free installments, or defer payment to the following month.

Grab currently offers loans to traders and micro-entrepreneurs. Together with its Indonesian e-wallet partner Ovo, it had nearly 400,000 outstanding loans and financing solutions for consumers, drivers and merchants in the first quarter of this year.

On the insurance front, GFG will launch its first hospitalization insurance plan for consumers in Indonesia in the coming months. As of April last year, more than 13 million insurance policies have been issued by Grab’s consumer insurance business.

Grab’s financial services arm is rolling out AutoInvest, which allows users to invest sums as small as $ 1 while spending in the Grab ecosystem. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

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