Grab Malaysia makes first move into Islamic fintech space with digital Takaful product

Southeast Asian e-hailing giant Grab has unveiled usage-based motor Takaful and insurance coverage for its drivers through its digital insurance arm in a move bolstering the unicorn’s fintech play.

Marking its first foray into the Shariah fintech space, Grab Malaysia through its online insurance marketplace GrabInsure (a joint venture between Grab and China’s ZhongAn Technologies Insurance International), is offering its driver-partners Takaful and conventional coverage from RM1 (23.86 US cents) a day. Known as Grab Daily Insurance (GDI), the scheme has been launched in partnership with 14 Islamic and conventional insurers including Etiqa General Takaful and Zurich Takaful.

The new product does not come as a surprise as Malaysian regulators begin to regulate the e-hailing industry imposing requirements such as mandatory public service vehicle license for e-hailing drivers and compulsory insurance policies on top of existing motor coverage owned by drivers.

With 80% of the company’s drivers employed on a part-time basis, GDI allows Grab drivers to purchase additional coverage for days when they are online. The policies can be purchased by opting-in through the Grab app, with premium deducted from their driver wallet every 24 hours upon going online, with daily rates ranging between RM1-2 (23.86 – 47.71 US cents).

Over the last two years, Grab has been building its financial capabilities leveraging its technology, network and strong customer base. In 2017, the firm was awarded an e-money license from the central bank of Malaysia allowing it to launch its GrabPay mobile wallet and in 2018, it partnered with Mastercard to issue physical and digital prepaid cards. GDI is its latest financial product, but it certainly would not be its last.

“We are committed to forming further strategic partnerships such as these with the private sector across industries to develop even more accessible innovations and also with our government to create a more conducive environment to do so,” said Sean Goh, Grab’s country head for Malaysia.


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