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A Prepaid Card in Your Phone: Grab Launches GrabPay Card

It’s a partnership with Mastercard.
IMAGE Grab Philippines
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When officials gave the go-signal for transport network vehicle services (TNVS) like Grab to resume operations after the government-imposed lockdown, one of the new policies is that drivers can no longer accept cash payments. That means riders can only pay through credit cards or through the company’s e-wallet, GrabPay. The reason, of course, is to lessen contact between driver and passenger and avoid possibly passing on the virus. 

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The adoption rate for cashless transactions in the Philippines isn’t as fast as some of our neighbors in the region, but it is happening. According to a survey by global credit card company Mastercard, 40 percent of Filipino consumers are now using contactless payments more often in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is probably one of the reasons why Grab partnered with Mastercard to launch a digital version of the GrabPay Card. The card works essentially like any prepaid card, where the user can pay for goods or services wherever cards are accepted. You don’t even have to have a bank account.

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Instead of a physical card, the cardholder’s details are stored securely within the Grab app behind an in-app card lock function that is enabled by Face ID and fingerprint biometric security, as well as PIN-protection. These security measures allow users to instantly suspend payments in case of lost cards or suspicious transactions. (Grab says, however, that you can request for a physical card if you want one).

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Other features include more ways to earn GrabRewards just for using the card, and mobile protection insurance, which allows users to pay for mobile postpaid phone bills and receive protection against accidental damage or theft. The card is also equipped with ecommerce protection that allows users to receive coverage for online transactions in the event that a wrong and/or defective item is delivered, and incomplete or non-delivery of the item.

Users can activate their GrabPay Card by upgrading the GrabPay wallet and following steps:

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1| Tap ‘Payment’ icon at the bottom of your Grab homescreen

2| Ensure you have activated and upgraded your GrabPay Wallet

3| Tap ‘Get your GrabPay Card now’ to access your card details

4| Enter your PIN to secure your card

5| Start using your digital GrabPay Card details for your online transactions

The GrabPay Card is regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and can be used to transact within and outside the Grab app safely. Grab and Mastercard offcials say the card has a 24/7 fraud detection engine that ensures that users’ personal information and payment transactions remain encrypted and protected.

“As cities slowly get back on their feet after months of lockdown brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, digital payments become the critical enabler to embrace this new reality,” said Jonny Bates, Head of GrabPay Philippines. “The launch of the digital GrabPay Card powered by Mastercard supports our mission of providing safer transactions and bringing more cashless opportunities to Filipinos not only for local transactions but also everywhere in the world.”

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“Mastercard is pleased to further expand the partnership with Grab in Southeast Asia with the launch of GrabPay Mastercard in the Philippines,” added Rowell del Fierro, Mastercard country manager for the Philippines. “Now Filipino GrabPay users can enjoy a seamless digital payment experience through the GrabPay Mastercard. This partnership also gives GrabPay users access to an e-wallet that is now accepted worldwide, unlocking a whole new world of possibilities for them." 

For more information, visit grb.to/grabpaycardph

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About The Author
Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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