Grab has rolled out an in-app instant messaging platform christened GrabChat, across all its locations in Southeast Asia to provide a more seamless and speedier pickup to drivers and passengers.

Grab is the first ride-hailing app in Southeast Asia to integrate instant messaging, It involved more than 50,00 users in the beta-testing across the region where GrabChat facilitated an overall better ride experience by helping drivers locate their passengers more quickly and begin rides. During the testing conducted amongst select drivers and passengers in Malaysia and Singapore, using GrabChat saved drivers and passengers 85,000 and 45,000 SMSes respectively in just one week. The feature, therefore, minimizes the SMS charges and makes it convenient for the drivers and passengers to communicate without incurring expensive international call charges.


Tan Hooi Ling, Grab Co-Founder said,

GrabChat is a simple, yet powerful, feature upgrade. It makes it easier and quicker for passengers and drivers to commence their rides by allowing seamless communication between them without leaving the Grab app or incurring mobile charges. 

GrabChat also comes with commonly template messages to provide a simpler way to send the messages with the touch of a button. It’ll soon introduce updated version to localize template messages for every country based on the analysis of commonly typed messages to improve template messages.

To resolve miscommunication issues, GrabChat will facilitate auto translation of messages allowing regional travellers to have a seamless communication with local drivers, with language support for English, Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, simplified Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese. It plans to enable location & multimedia messages based on the assessment of customers’ comfort to share or send pictures of their locations. Tan added,

We have a well-developed product roadmap to launch new features and more hyperlocal functions to ease communications for local passengers and regional travellers with our driver-partners. Grab wants to be your ride of choice across Southeast Asia.

Launched in Malaysia last week, GrabChat will be applicable for other territories where Grab has its presence. Currently applicable for GrabCar and GrabTaxi services, GrabChat will be available to Android and iOS users this week and will be integrated for GrabBike, GrabHitch, GrabExpress and GrabFood across the Grab app soon.


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