Boosting digital literacy and access to economic opportunities for these beneficiaries in South-east Asia can benefit everyone.

Millions of informal workers and small businesses on the regional Grab platform will soon have access to digital upskilling opportunities, due to a partnership by the firm with Mastercard to advance digital and financial inclusion in Southeast Asia (SEA).

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) underlines both companies’ ongoing efforts to advance digital and financial inclusion through human capital development and small business training. Last year, Grab trained over 1.7 million driver-partners through its platform in areas such as digital and financial literacy. Last month, Mastercard launched the global Strive initiative focused on strengthening the financial resilience of small businesses and supporting their recovery and growth.

The scope of the two-year partnership includes: 

  1. Bespoke training tools for informal workers and small businesses: Both firms are co-creating three different training programs: Small Business Training, Driver Entrepreneurship Training and Driver Financial Literacy Training—targeted at Grab’s drivers, delivery and merchant partners. The programs will be progressively rolled out across the region from Q4 2021, starting with a few launch markets. Grab’s partners can access these programs for free through the Grab Driver and Merchant apps.
  2. Upskilling of Indonesia’s digital security awareness: Mastercard is extending its cybersecurity certification program to Grab’s driver-partners and their family members, and its business mentorship access program to driver-partners and merchant-partners. The 10-week technical certification program that started in August 2021 is helping participants to gain business-ready cybersecurity skills.
  3. Advancing the digital economy through research and dialog: Mastercard has joined Grab’s recently established Tech for Good Institute as an advisory board member. The Institute seeks to work with the public and private sectors to harness technology for good to support the region’s growth and development.

According to Cheryl Goh, Group Head of Marketing and Sustainability, Grab: “We have benefitted much from the South-east Asia technology ecosystem, and want to do our part to support the development of local talents and businesses. Through partnerships with leading companies like Mastercard, we can bring high-quality training programs to millions of people and businesses on our platform. We truly believe that this partnership has the potential to unlock economic growth in communities across the region.”

Mastercard Asia Pacific’s Executive Vice President (Digital & Emerging Partnerships and New Payment Flows), Rama Sridhar, said: “South-east Asia is at an economic turning point. For growth across much of the region to be truly inclusive, it’s important to proactively ensure that the private sector is helping to upskill people from all walks of life. Grab has extensive reach in (the region), and Mastercard is exceptionally proud to be working with a partner that is equally deeply committed to using that reach to provide economic opportunities.”