Grab 去年收购了印尼在线支付公司 Kudo，此举被视为对 Go-Jek 使出的一记妙招：Grab 得以利用 Kudo 的几十万名代理，扩大其在支付领域的影响力。
在印尼，电子钱包业务难以成功，主要是由于大多数印尼人更愿意使用现金。而 Go-Jek 之所以能够领先，靠的是它庞大的司机网络。司机们充当着手机充值代理的角色，这让 GoPay 在赢取广泛用户和提升使用率上有了显著优势。
作为一家独立的公司，在被 Grab 收购之前，Kudo 已经十分成功。
Kudo 已和代理商达成合作，允许其通过 Kudo 的 APP 销售电话卡、门票、生活用品等，从而帮助印尼大部分没有信用卡、或无法上网的用户，在网上购物。Kudo 始终致力于提升代理的收入水平（通过电商平台等各种渠道），这反过来促进了业务的增长，为公司的成功奠定了基础。
然而，让人意外的是，距离收购该公司已过去一年，Grab 却没能将 Kudo 的特长利用起来，为司机谋取福利。不仅如此，在 Grab 收购 Uber 的东南亚业务后，甚至出现了 Grab 方面向司机漫天要价的说法。
我们一直把 Grab 视作一家以摩托车为主要服务载体的平台型公司（公司已进入包裹配送、食物外卖等诸多领域）。通常而言，只有当服务提供方（或卖家）有钱赚时，平台才有存在的意义，这一点对 Grab 同样适用。
尽管 Grab 并未做太多创新尝试，就轻松在东南亚市场取得了不小的成功（因为乘客和司机没有其它选择），但在印尼，Grab 的表现明显不如 Go-Jek（司机收入水平较低可能是原因之一）。我认为，如果 Grab 不能保证其司机可以持续获得稳定可靠的收入，那么一旦 Go-Jek 进入它的领地，Grab 将很可能失去领先地位。
作为东南亚市场的主要玩家，Grab 拥有令其它玩家羡慕的领先地位（至少目前如此）。然而，随着对司机补贴的减少甚至取消，相比他们投奔竞争对手，Grab 更需要担心的是司机因赚太少，最终放弃使用其平台。
或许是认识到了这一点（遗憾的是已经过了这么久），Grab 推出了“Grab & Go”车载零食货架。不过，光凭该服务能否让司机相信 Grab 平台上仍有充足的创收空间，答案仍未可知。
除此之外，Kudo 的一位核心人物离职，投靠其它公司，这对 Grab 而言也不是好消息。因为公司不仅没能整合 Kudo 的技术和运营优势，也没能留住核心人才。这的确十分让人担忧。
让 Grab 更加不安的可能是 Carousell 推出 Caroupay 的消息。这一背靠星展银行的支付服务可能会对市场造成大冲击。目前来看，Caroupay 尚不对 GrabPay 构成威胁，但毋庸置疑的是，支付 APP 需要变得无所不在，才能成功。
GrabPay 必须承认，它距离这一目标还有很长的路要走。在此过程中，它还需要利用 Grab 的生态尽可能为用户创造价值。游戏格局已经改变，要想在支付领域取得成功，Grab 比以往任何时候都需要司机和乘客的支持。
Last year, Grab’s acquisition of Kudo was hailed as a strategic coup against Gojek – since it opened doors for Grab to tap into Kudo’s network of a few hundred thousand agents.
The main impediment for any wallet in Indonesia to succeed – is the fact that most Indonesians prefer to spend cash. What put Gojek ahead (and still ahead) is their network of drivers, who also function as mobile top-up agents. This put them in a coveted position when it comes to mass adoption and usage.
Helping people to make money – it’s not by choice
Prior to acquisition by Grab – Kudo, as a company, did well for itself. It tried to maximise the potential income for its agents (through different earning channels, including ecommerce), which worked well to aide its growth and success. What’s surprising is that 1 year post-acquisition, Grab still failed capitalize on Kudo’s expertise, to benefit its drivers. Instead, there are claims of it gouging its drivers, after acquiring Uber in Southeast Asia.
We have written extensively about Grab and even GrabPay, and it should not come as a surprise that we currently view Grab as a marketplace for gigs (since they have pivoted into parcel delivery, food delivery and many more). As it goes, marketplaces only exist when service providers (or sellers) actually make money – and this law applies even for Grab.
While Grab has been largely successful in Southeast Asia without much effort and innovation (as passengers and drivers have no other options), in Indonesia, they are clearly lagging behind Gojek (could be due to lack of earning power amongst others). We think the tide can easily turn in Gojek’s favour as it enters Grab’s territory – if Grab does not assure that their drivers can continue to earn stable and dependable income.
After all, many drivers for ride-hailing apps work “full-time”, and their earning power is always a concern. Who wouldn’t want to make more?
Slowly realizing, but is it too late?
As the saying goes, it is usually lonely at the top. Grab, being the dominant player in Southeast Asia holds the coveted position (at least for now). However, now that driver incentives have been lowered or reduced completely, instead of worrying that their drivers will switch to the competitor’s app, they have to worry about the drivers not making enough – and quitting Grab altogether.
Perhaps realizing this (and unfortunately only now), Grab launched in-car shopping experience for passengers which they dubbed “Grab & Go”. Will it be enough to convince drivers that there’s enough money to be made, driving for Grab?
On top of that, it doesnt help that Kudo’s key person also leaves to join another company. Not only did Grab fail to adopt Kudo’s technological and operational advantage, but it failed to keep key talent in the company. This is indeed worrying.
Carousell launching Caroupay is perhaps an even more disturbing news (for Grab). Backed by DBS, it could take the market by storm. While we don’t see Caroupay as a threat to GrabPay now, it is undeniable that payment apps must be absolutely used everywhere.
If GrabPay is to become the ubiquitous payment app anywhere in Southeast Asia – it has definitely got to admit that has a lot to catch up to. Of course, in the process, it has to provide value to its users through its ecosystem. Funnily, the game has changed and Grab needs its drivers and customers even more than ever – if it is to succeed in payments.