Singapore headquartered Grab partners with Alibaba-owned Chinese payment app Alipay to simplify payment options for Chinese tourists across Thailand and Singapore.
The mobile ride-hailing application initially accepted payment only via cab before adding digital payment options this year.
Chinese customers, prior to this, had to link a dual currency credit card to the Grab app and pay for their rides in USD or pay via cash. Now, payment will be hassle free as they can pay in Renminbi. Passengers just have to open their Grab app, select GrabPay in the menu bar and add their Alipay account.
The global presence of Uber still has an edge over this association. It doesn’t solve the issue of installing a new app which people may use for just a few days, when a person may already have Uber on one’s phone.
Both the companies plan to expand to other Southeast Asian countries in the coming months. The announcement is done just a month after Grab’s arch rival Uber collaborated with Alipay.
We are constantly looking at ways to improve our app experience for local and international users. Providing multiple payment options that suit our customers’ preferences is a key focus area for us. Our partnership with Alipay allows Chinese travellers to use Grab to book taxis or private cars for a hassle- free way to get around the city.
said Joel Yarbrough, Group Product Manager, Grab in an official statement.
Last year, Grab was a part of a strategic partnership with Ola, Lyft and Didi Chuxing, wherein users could book a cab on either of these partner apps, depending upon which geography they are traveling to. Now, to benefit from the deal with Alipay, the company may try to directly link with the Chinese major Didi Chuxing.
Operating across Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines Grab has raised over $650 million till date from various investors including SoftBank and Didi.