Ride-hailing app Grab has joined forces with Filipino retail and real estate conglomerate SM Investments to accelerate the use of its mobile wallet GrabPay in the Philippines.

At present, the wallet can be used for transport and delivery services in the country.

With the new alliance, the wallet can also be used to make payments for goods and services including groceries, cinema tickets, clothes and shoes from SM stores. The move will be effective next year.

At the same time, users can top up their wallets using BDO bank accounts and ATMs, SM Business Centers and the 2GO retail network.

GrabPay managing director of Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines Ooi Huey Tyng said: “This partnership calls to attention the size of the opportunity Grab’s ASEAN-wide user base offers, even to leading conglomerates and financial institutions like SM and BDO.

“We are confident that by combining the strengths of Grab’s fintech platform with SM’s extensive network of merchant partners and establishments, we can drive financial inclusion for millions of unbanked Filipinos.”

The tie-up aligns with the Philippine central bank strategy of making 20% of the country’s payments cashless by 2020.

Earlier this year, Grab secured e-money licence from the central bank of Philippines.

SMIC president and CEO Frederic DyBuncio said: “We are mindful of the evolving online-to-offline landscape especially in retail and continue to branch into new solutions that will unlock more benefits to our consumers.”