Payments firm GHL has been gradually shedding from its pure payment play in a series of announcements it has made recently on new services and partnerships. In the 2nd quarter of 2020, they secured a lending license in Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. The company has also been seen making partnerships with Axiata to offer micro-lending services and with an Austalian fintech startup named Splitit to offer buy now, pay later services to its online merchants.
Just yesterday the company revealed that all these new services that are targeted at MSMEs and the self-employed will be housed under “GROW by GHL”. The services under this umbrella include, micro-lending and micro-insurance with micro-wealth products being in the pipeline. Their micro-lending products lends up to RM 100,000 with zero early settlement charges, while on the micro-insurance front they are offering a range of personal and general insurance products made available through a partnership with insurtech startup, Senang.
Speaking to Fintech News Malaysia, its Group CEO, Danny Leong maintains that the company remains focused on payments, he said that the introduction of these new services are intended as a strategy for them to retain and maintain merchants. He further adds that this will enable them to avoid competing solely on pricing but with added value services.
These services are viewed as synergistic by the company as the merchants already require services like short-term lending and insurance coverage and with existing working relationship and data on their merchant’s daily transaction value, which will help merchants to save considerable time in speeding up the eKYC or eKYB process, Danny adds.
Companies in this space like Axiata and BigPay who’s rolled out similar services have voiced ambitions to pursue a virtual banking license in Malaysia once the framework is established. When asked whether they have any ambition in this space, Danny said that GHL is unlikely to bid for a license on their own but is open to partnering with interested parties and that they see themselves as a part of a consortium while focusing on the core payments strength.