September 11, 2018 / 6:44 AM / 3 months ago

Grab partners with Vietnamese firm for payment service

A Grab motorbike helmet is displayed during Grab's fifth anniversary news conference in Singapore June 6, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su

HANOI (Reuters) - Grab announced on Tuesday its partnership with Vietnam’s MOCA Technology and Service company (Moca) for a mobile payment service in Vietnam, as the ride-hailing firm pushes to cement its position in the Southeast Asian country.

Grab has made digital payments and financial services a significant part of its growth strategy in the region, where a chunk of the population remains unbanked, fuelling expectations of a boom in demand for such businesses.

“This is a great step forward; I think the Moca team is great, their technology and solutions are great, and together with the combined expertise of our Grab team we can truly move Vietnam toward a cashless economy,” Grab co-founder Tan Hooi Ling told reporters a press conference on Tuesday.

Grab, which counts Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi Chuxing and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp among its backers, is the most prominent player in Vietnam after it pushed out Uber in a deal that saw the latter exiting Southeast Asia.

“This strategic collaboration with Moca marks an important milestone for Grab in Vietnam as we seek to accelerate our growth in one of the fastest growing economies in Southeast Asia,” said Nguyen Tuan Anh, head of Grab Financial Group Vietnam.

The companies did not give further details of the partnership, but said they expect to launch their joint service in October.

Moca was granted a license for payment services by the State Bank of Vietnam in 2016 and has a network of 11 local banks as partners for their service, said Tran Thanh Nam, co-founder and chief executive of Moca.

Grab said it has 175,000 drivers and bikers across the country. Rival Indonesia’s GoJek entered Vietnam last month in a bid to grasp a share of Vietnam’s fast-growing market, which also has several other local players.

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Additional reporting by Aradhana Aravindan in Singapore; Editing by Sunil Nair

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