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Grab users can now pay using cryptocurrency

Grab users can now pay using cryptocurrency
The Straits Times was alerted by Grab users to the development after they found the new payment option available in their GrabPay Wallet.
PHOTO: The Straits Times file

SINGAPORE — Users of Grab's services will now have the option of paying in cryptocurrencies following the ride-hailing operator's tie-up with payments firm Triple-A.

The Straits Times was alerted by Grab users to the development after they found the new payment option available in their GrabPay Wallet.

Users can pay using five cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ether and StraitsX's Singapore dollar-backed stablecoin XSGD, a United States dollar-backed stablecoin USDC that is managed by global payments firm Circle, and stablecoin Tether, also known as USDT.

Stablecoins are cryptocurrencies that have their values tied to that of another currency, commodity, or financial instrument. They are usually tied to the US dollar on a one-to-one basis.

When asked, Triple-A said the crypto top-ups in GrabPay Wallet were rolled out on March 12.

"From arranging deliveries to booking rides or paying for coffee at their nearest shop, digital currency owners in Singapore can now use digital currencies for everyday transactions," it added.

Triple-A, which is licensed in Singapore, handles the conversion of digital currencies into dollars with bank settlements instantly.

Various companies have been moving to add crypto as a payment option as digital assets and blockchain are viewed as having a role to play in the future of transactions.

In September, Grab told ST that it was focused on testing the concept of programmable money and its uses in Singapore. At that time, the firm had partnered Circle to test a blockchain-based wallet that holds digital assets in a pilot here.

Sources told ST late 2023 that Grab has plans to apply for a digital payment token licence from Singapore's regulator.

Meanwhile, Triple-A has been rapidly expanding its reach in Singapore.

In late January, the payment firm teamed up with popular bills payment platform AXS to allow people to use four digital currencies for 550 of the 600 AXS payment services. It meant that members of the public can make top-ups or pay their recurring bills, such as road tax and enrichment class fees, in four cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Ether, USDT or USDC.

Others that have partnered Triple-A for crypto payments include retailers iStudio, Farfetch, and Charles and Keith; the Singapore Red Cross; financial platform Reap; and payments firm AsiaPay.

ST has contacted Grab for comments.

ALSO READ: Crypto exchange OKX receives in-principle approval for Singapore payments licence

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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