After locking hands with Alipay to simplify payment options for Chinese tourists, ride-hailing service Grab is now looking to go beyond taxi fare payment and expand its digital payment solution to retail outlets in Southeast Asia –its core market.

Grab has first selected to expand to Indonesia, a country with over 50 million combined Internet users of their service. It has today announced that it has partnered with Indonesia’s biggest retail conglomerate — Lippo Group — for the implementation of an e-money payments platform in the country.

According to this partnership, Lippo will develop a universal payments platform that will enable Indonesians(firstly!) to top-up their e-money accounts and pay for consumer services digitally. The users of both companies will be able to pay for a full suite of services from Lippo’s retail companies, including department stores, cinemas, coffee shops and e-commerce among others. The users can use their mobile phones or use the Grab app to complete the transaction.

The blogpost further mentions that,

Grab will integrate the payments platform into the Grab app as a mobile wallet option within GrabPay, enabling any mobile user to use the Grab app to pay for not only their daily transport needs, but also other lifestyle services.

You have to commend Grab for taking a risk and expanding beyond its domain of taxi cab aggregation. It is also a significant move into a market where there is no dominant digital payment solution. Lippo is also an investor in Grab and has thus probably agreed for this partnership, which might(i repeat, might) prove to be a significant boost for both companies businesses.

Commenting on the partnership, Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder, Grab says that,

We commend the government’s efforts to push Indonesia towards a cashless society and look forward to contributing towards this goal. Grab’s partnership with the Lippo Group to develop a universal payments platform will be a leap forward for e-money in Indonesia. 

He further adds that there is limitless opportunity for developing a full-blown payments solution which can be used not only to pay for transportation but also for day-today basic transactions, in Indonesia. In addition to the partnership with Lippo, the company will also work with local partners to expand its cashless payment solution in the near future.

Lippo Group is committed to transforming lives in Indonesia, and we want to work with partners like Grab that have this common vision. This universal payments platform will enable our customers to go cashless at all our online and offline retail companies – and we will introduce more partner services and merchants as well.

said Adrian Suherman, Lippo Group Director, digitization initiatives.

Indonesia is Grab’s one of the largest markets and it now aims to target nearly 95 per cent of people in Indonesia who still have no access to plastic money(credit/debit cards). The company expects to roll out the payments solution in phases, starting from Q4 2016(i.e early 2017).

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