GrabPay extends reach with launch of virtual prepaid card in the Philippines

TECH firm Grab on Wednesday launched its numberless virtual card in the Philippines, following the card's debut last December in Singapore.

The virtual GrabPay Card - which facilitates spending from the GrabPay mobile wallet on a card - can be used at any of the nearly 53 million merchants worldwide that accept Mastercard, regardless of whether users own a bank account.

Users control the card through the Grab app, where card details will be securely stored, Grab said.

The app contains a card lock function that uses Face ID and fingerprint biometric security, and a PIN-protection function that lets users instantly suspend payments in the case of lost cards or suspicious transactions.

Users get free mobile phone protection coverage if they pay for their monthly mobile bills using the GrabPay Card, as well as complimentary e-commerce purchase protection for their online shopping.

Grab cited a Mastercard survey in April that found 40 per cent of Filipino consumers were using contactless payments more often in light of the novel coronavirus crisis.

"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," GrabPay Philippines head Jonny Bates said. 

Grab added that the launch of the card complements its efforts to double down on cashless services that can help curb the spread of Covid-19.

The company previously announced it would roll out GrabPay Card to other South-east Asian countries by the first half of this year, following the launch in the Philippines.