Shahnawaz Backer, F5 Networks
Jason Thompson, Head of Payments, Grab
Instant fund transfers have been around since PayPal. What is Grab offering that others aren’t?
Today more than 60% of people in Singapore are still using cash, but close to 80% of our Grab users (in Singapore) are using GrabPay. So why is our wallet so pervasive, and why is cash so pervasive outside of Grab? We look at it from four simple ways.
Number one is safety. The consumer sees us constantly striving to ensure that safety and security is delivered. Number two is that it has to be easy. We serve multiple generations of riders and drivers and they all use our app as they’re all very comfortable with it.
Third is unification. We have more than 50 nancial institutions that take GrabPay, so we’re condent the consumer will be able to choose where and how they want to use their money. Whether that’s cash in or cash out, it happens instantly.
Lastly, cash is still very important. The consumer must never feel like their cash is trapped. If they want cash, you must let them have it.
Do you consider $nancial institutions to be your greatest competitors then?
I don’t think so. I think what you’ll see is that we’re (actually) driving good behavior. In Singapore, there’s high penetration of credit and debit cards, so why is cash still so prevalent? I think for some reason, the consumer doesn’t trust it (credit cards).
When our users use GrabPay, they have to feel safe. Another issue around open acceptance in Singapore is that nobody wants to be embarrassed. You never want to be the guy in the Starbucks queue counting coins – at 8am in the morning.
“…Cash is still very important. The consumer must never feel like their cash is trapped. If they want cash, you must let them have it.”
Just like in the Visa ads right?
*Laughs* Exactly! It’s the same with payments. The last thing you want to do is scan a QR code and your payment not be accepted. Customers will be embarrassed and they’ll never do it again. So the way we’re approaching unification is key. We can’t ever let our customers suffer that experience.
How do you maintain security when everything is consolidated in your mobile phone?
(I’ve) got a credit card, cash, and a smartphone. What’s the safest thing here?
Could you use this card to buy a coffee without me there? I bet you can. So that’s obviously not secure.
What about this $50 bill? I bet no one’s returning that.
Now, try getting my bank details out of my phone. You can reset the phone and take it for yourself (without my information), but I can buy a new phone, put my pin in and have all my details back.
So the safest thing on the table is the phone, and we’re working hard to make it even safer. It’s that simple for me.