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Cards

Grab, Mastercard to launch prepaid cards for Southeast Asia through Grab app

Friday 26 October 2018 | 10:26 AM CET

Grab and Mastercard have partnered to issue prepaid cards tailored to Southeast Asia, a developing region that has remained largely cash-based to date.

Grab will issue both virtual and physical prepaid cards, directly from the Grab app. Customers can top up their card in cash to spend at any merchant around the world, online or offline, accepting Mastercard. By issuing Mastercard prepaid cards, GrabPay, the mobile payments platform on the Grab app, becomes one of the first e-wallets at scale from Southeast Asia to be accepted worldwide.

The Grab app covers a range of services including ride-hailing and shared modes of transport, along with food, grocery, and parcel delivery, all powered by GrabPay. With three out of four Southeast Asians – or more than 400 million people – remaining unbanked, the launch of virtual and physical prepaid cards will offer many consumers a means of going beyond cash and using the global card infrastructure.

Consumers across the region will be able to apply for the prepaid card directly from the Grab app, and receive a virtual card in their GrabPay wallet in their Grab app. The company will also offer a physical prepaid card, enabled by both NFC and EMV chip technology.

The virtual card is also suited as a prepaid travel card, with acceptance at any Mastercard merchant with an NFC-enabled POS terminal across the world. Users will be able to top up different currencies on their card and save on transaction and exchange fees. The physical card will be a good suit for customers transacting in areas where connectivity is poor and for use in transit payments, such as metro fares or road tolls.

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