Fintech, Finance, Technology, Banking Highlights – 3 August 2018

Grab funding round swells to $2bn

Grab Holdings, Southeast Asia’s O2O mobile platform, announced it has raised US$2 billion for its current round of financing. Toyota Motor Corporation has been joined by a slate of leading global financial institutions, including OppenheimerFunds, Ping An Capital, Mirae Asset – Naver Asia Growth Fund, Cinda Sino-Rock Investment Management Company, All-Stars Investment, Vulcan Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Macquarie Capital and other investors, underscoring Grab’s aim to be the leading technology player in the region.

The investment by these leading global financial institutions reflect their belief in Grab’s long-term growth opportunity, and the company’s unique ability to unlock the region’s growth potential through Grab’s industry-changing O2O and transportation platform.

Ming Maa, President of Grab, said: “We are honoured to welcome these top-tier financial institutions into our roster of strategic investors and partners. Grab is today the industry-changing O2O platform that enables millions of consumers and entrepreneurs to come online and drive the digital economy in Southeast Asia. We have seen overwhelming interest from global strategic investors and partners who are keen to partner with us to capture the region’s booming growth.”

Grab will use the funds to expand the range of O2O services it provides in Southeast Asia and to grow into becoming the everyday super app of choice for millions in the region. Today, Grab users have a one-stop solution to meet their everyday needs; whether it is using the Grab app to pay merchants through GrabPay, ordering food through GrabFood, sending parcels through GrabExpress, or hailing rides with Grab’s range of transport services, Grab is looking to expand the universe of everyday services available to its users through partnerships. In July, Grab launched its vision to become the region’s everyday super app of choice through its open platform strategy and announced the launch of GrabFresh, an on-demand grocery delivery service in Jakarta, with other cities to follow later in 2018.

Saifu to make using cryptocurrency as easy as a traditional online bank account

With the release of a new web app Saifu has become the first financial institution to offer current accounts in both fiat and crypto currencies.

While many people have jumped on the crypto bandwagon, using cryptocurrencies in the real-world economy has been challenging; storage and transactions are complicated, and hacking and other security issues abound. Saifu solves this by making cryptocurrency and fiat currency accounts available in a single app that lets customers exchange and use both in their everyday lives and hold their crypto savings safely in Saifu’s secure crypto vault.

Saifu offers a convenient solution to the problem of accessibility in crypto through its ‘one-stop-shop’ approach: its platform features services provided by a traditional bank checking accounts, money transfers, currency exchanges, and a soon-to-be-released mobile app while also allowing users to exchange money between fiat and cryptocurrencies. Additionally, Saifu offers market-leading, bank-grade security for cryptocurrencies developed in partnership with French cybersecurity expert, Thales. Saifu will also provide its users with MasterCard prepaid cards and card acquiring services.

Mastercard and Entersekt enable all-in-one, scan-to-pay feature in Nedbank app

Mastercard and Entersekt have collaborated to enable Nedbank’s customers to make QR payments to Masterpass, Pay@, SnapScan, and Zapper merchants and billers through the Nedbank Money app, whether they are paying online or at a physical point of presence. This market-first development means that Nedbank Money users need just one smartphone app for all major domestic scan-to-pay services, representing a combined footprint of more than 100,000 retail points of presence and 800 billers.

This development builds on Mastercard’s strategy to ensure interoperability between its Masterpass digital payments platform and the country’s other major mobile and digital payments services. Mastercard has, over the past year-and-half, enabled Zapper and SnapScan vendors to accept Masterpass payments and enabled Masterpass merchants to accept Zapper and SnapScan payments.

“The enablement of Masterpass scan-to-pay capability within the Nedbank application represents yet another important milestone in the digital payment convergence journey,” says Mark Elliott, division president, Mastercard Southern Africa. “It furthers our goal of driving interoperability across the payments ecosystem, so that consumers can pay securely and conveniently anywhere and with any card from a single app on their smartphones.”