Grab Rideshare Integrates Wave Money E-Wallet

Grab, Southeast Asia’s leading ride-hailing platform, formed a partnership last week with Wave Money, Myanmar’s first licensed mobile financial service provider.

Through the partnership, Grab’s driver partners can sign up for e-money accounts that allow them to easily manage their cash flow, Grab said in a statement. Wave Money’s e-wallet platform will also be integrated into the Grab app as a cashless payment option for passengers.

Less than 10% of Myanmar’s 54.8 million population has access to a bank account and an even lower debit and credit card penetration, making Myanmar a predominantly cash-based environment. Therefore, cash has been the default payment method for people to pay for goods and services, including transportation, which can pose problems for rideshares like Ola — another rideshare platform in Asia — because cash is not as easily accounted for like digital payments.

Over the last year, the number of digital consumers in the Southeast Asia has surged 50% to 200 million, which has helped region’s internet economy balloon to more than $50 billion, according to a report from business consulting firm Bain & Co.

“The combination of fast-growing digital users with a fragmented market means that local players are successfully competing and gaining an edge on global names in certain sectors,” the report said.

Grab, which has raised $1.4 billion in funding, currently operates its ride-hailing app services in seven Southeast Asian countries — Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Grab has up to 2.5 million rides daily in Southeast Asia.

Wave Money is a mobile financial provider operating with over 9,000 Wave shops across Myanmar. Wave Money is a joint venture between Telenor, First Myanmar Investment, and YOMA Bank.

Grab and Wave Money did not immediately respond to request for comment.

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