A GrabCar driver displays the support information page on the Grab app on a smartphone in an arranged photograph in Singapore. (Photographer: Ore Huiying/Bloomberg)

Grab Deal to Give Mastercards to Millions Without Bank Accounts

(Bloomberg) -- Mastercard Inc. is teaming with Singapore-based ride-hailing company Grab to issue prepaid cards in Southeast Asia, targeting consumers who may not qualify for traditional credit cards because they have no bank accounts.

The value of the cards can be topped with cash to spend at any of the three million merchant outlets that accept Mastercard, Grab said in a statement. Both companies aim to issue virtual and physical prepaid cards in the first half of 2019, starting in Singapore and the Philippines.

Reuben Lai, senior managing director at Grab Financial, said the cards would allow roughly 400 million consumers in Southeast Asia who don’t have bank accounts and rely on cash payments to buy goods and services online.

Grab, which has seen over 110 million user downloads, has expanded beyond ride-hailing to food and parcel delivery as well as e-payments.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.