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Report: Grab invests in Indonesian payment platform to take on Go-Jek

GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. has invested in Indonesian digital payment platform Ovo to take on PT Go-Jek Indonesia in its home market, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Nov. 14, citing informed sources.

Grab's partnership with Lippo Group-owned Ovo began in June when the payment platform was integrated into the Singaporean ride-hailing company's app, the report said. The payment services firm in late June hired the former head of GrabPay, Grab's own payment platform, as its CEO, Nikkei added.

According to the report, Grab invested in Ovo's parent company PT Bumi Cakrawala Perkasa earlier this year. Financial terms were reportedly not disclosed, but the sources said the amount was "big enough to have an impact" on the company's decision-making process.

The newswire added that Grab co-founder and CEO Anthony Tan often visits Indonesia, partly for meetings with Ovo.

Grab and Go-Jek are eyeing partnerships with financial institutions across Southeast Asia as they expand their ride-hailing and e-payment businesses in the region. On Nov. 12, both companies forged deals with two of Singapore's largest banks, DBS Group Holdings Ltd. and United Overseas Bank Ltd., to work on digital payment services.

Last week, Grab rolled out its Thai payment service after it partnered with Kasikornbank PCL, according to Nikkei.

In May, Grab announced its collaboration with Malaysia's Malayan Banking Bhd. to fast-track the adoption of cashless payments in the country using GrabPay. In September, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas awarded Grab an e-money license to operate financial services in the Philippines.

Meanwhile, Go-Jek has signed up with Vietnamese bank Vietnam Joint Stock Commercial Bank for Industry & Trade to offer payment services in the country.