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Singapore ride-hailing firm Grab has announced that it will launch an e-wallet in a bid to expand its services beyond the transportation sector. Grab, founded by Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling has enjoyed incredible success since its inception in 2012, and its services are available in 30 cities across six countries in Asia.

Its main competitor in the Asian market is global ride-hailing giants Uber who have now expanded aggressively across the APAC region. However, whilst Grab is still focused on expanding its ride-hailing business and plans to enter new markets in 2018, it is also investing in the electronic payments sector.

Grab has formally announced the launch of its Grab-Pay Digital wallet which can be used in hawker stalls, restaurants and shops in Singapore. In addition to this, the firm confirmed that it will also launch the e-wallet across Southeast Asia in 2018. It’s all part of Grab’s strategic plan to become the predominant player in online consumer services.

Co-founder of Grab, Tan Hooi Ling said the introduction of the digital wallet in Singapore and beyond will help it establish a foothold towards becoming the No.1 consumer internet platform in Southeast Asia. He said, “Enabling Grab payments in restaurants and shops is a significant step towards becoming the largest consumer internet platform in Southeast Asia,”

Grab had previously stated that its payments would be a focus for the company and added that it was open to further acquisitions after buying Indonesian online payments startup earlier this year. Last month it launched a peer-to-peer payments service.

Grab will face stiff competition from Chinese e-commerce colossus Alibaba, who have enjoyed phenomenal success with its Alipay digital wallet. It has expanded into region following success in China and also has plans to launch its product in Singapore.

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