It’s Not Just the Ride Hailing Fight That’s Begun with Go-Jek’s Entry into Grab’s Hometown

It’s Not Just the Ride Hailing Fight That’s Begun with Go-Jek’s Entry into Grab’s Hometown

by November 30, 2018

Go-Jek just announced the launch of its beta app in Singapore, which means that Singaporeans will be able to download Go-Jek on Android and iOS stores starting today. Since Uber’s exit of Southeast Asia, this will be a significant competition for Grab not just on the ride-hailing front, but the fintech front as well.

There are more similarities to both companies than just (ride) hailing from Southeast Asia. Both have launched their own wallets, with GrabPay launching its GrabPay, while Go-Jek has its Go-Pay. Grab’s strategy to grow its wallet seems to focus on expanding its use case between food to groceries, while Go-Jek attempts to grow its own wallet by acquiring three different payments startups in Indonesia.

Grab certainly has home player advantage and the experience of running in their own space, but public opinion on Grab has been rather poor since its merger with Singapore, with netizens accusing the ride-hailing giant of monopoly and some concern regarding its expansion beyond ride-hailing and into fintech. It’s a slim window, but Go-Jek might just be able to take advantage of these cracks to bring Go-Pay to a stronger presence than GrabPay, if they play their cards right.

Where Grab has expressed a bigger focus into the insurtech side of fintech during the announcement of Grab Financial via data, Go-Jek set out instead to partner with peer-to-peer (P2P) lending firms in Indonesia, which is a bigger market for the company considering its Indonesian origins.

Which is not to say that Grab doesn’t have plans towards lending or Go-Jek towards insurtech, this is just a reflection of their initial focus, and perhaps, an interesting glimpse of both companies’ fintech roots.

With the recent announcement however, we will also see Go-Jek, partnered with DBS, competing with UOB-partnered Grab, which will see UOB’s banking services integrated into its app.

As Go-Pay and GrabPay clashes in the future, it will be interesting to see if both banks will get roped into the fintech side of the business as well.

The launch of Go-Jek’s beta app in Singapore kickstarts the regional strategic partnership between Go-Jek and DBS, two of Southeast Asia’s most iconic companies. During the beta phase, access to the app will be granted in batches to balance ride demand and service capabilities. DBS/POSB customers in Singapore will be guided by the app to find out how they can be prioritised on the waitlist, and receive a SG$5 voucher credit for each of their first two rides.

For now there is very little mention on how Go-Jek’s fintech side will present itself in the region, but considering its strong push in Indonesia, we don’t doubt it’s eventual appearance soon.

Featured image via Go-Jek