We analysed business transport expenses across 3 SEA countries… Here’s what we learned

Grab For Business
3 min readFeb 18, 2020


When pop star Taylor Swift accused rapper Kanye West of dissing her in his song “Famous”, Kanye’s wife Kim Kardashian wasn’t having it. She posted a video of Kanye clearing the song with Taylor on her Snapchat and the internet raved that, “she got receipts”.

As satisfying as that must have been for Kim and Kanye, the rest of us seldom have such a good experience. Especially when we are pasting our faded receipts to sheets of A4 hoping to be reimbursed for our travel expenses. Or worse, if we’re the admins tasked with reconciling and processing the claims.

It feels bad for a reason

Dealing with expense reports is no one’s idea of a good time, but we can all appreciate that it has to be done. It’s only fair that a company knows what they are paying for.

What is not so obvious is that the process itself has hidden costs that can act as a drain on company resources.

A report by the Global Business Travel Association found that a manual process like this has multiple inefficiencies. For example, completing an expense report takes an average of 20 minutes. Think of all the employees in your company that need to file a report and start multiplying. It becomes a significant number of man hours.

The average cost to process each report? USD$58!

And what’s more, almost 20% of all reports filed will have some kind of error. Correcting a report takes an average of 18 more minutes and costs an average of USD$52. They say you have to spend money to make money, but these costs are completely avoidable.

Pain points like these are why most companies (70%) internally use third-party software to process their T&E. A smaller percentage (4%) entirely outsource the process to another company.

Those are both good options for your company to explore, but for companies in Southeast Asia that use ground transport to get around, Grab for Business is the optimal way to save time and money.

On the consumer side, Grab is already Southeast Asia’s leading super app, enriching the lives of millions with services like ride-hailing, food, express, grocery delivery and mobile payments.

On the corporate side, the Grab for Business portal is a powerful tool. The receipts are all digital now. No more manual processes. The online portal allows companies to digitize corporate transport. Employees simply need to link their Grab app to the company account. Admins can manage employees and payments, set policies, and get reports on all trip details.

Cost savings with Grab for Business

Grab is available in 339 cities across eight countries in Southeast Asia, but for the purpose of this study we looked at Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Assume a company in these countries spends about USD$15,000 on 750 trips a month. And say there are 500 employees, about half of whom claim travel expenses.

If this company switches from internally processing their claims to the Grab for Business portal, it will save approximately 2,400 hours a year — just in processing time. At an average hourly labour cost across the region, that is a USD$17,025 savings.

Not only that, Grab fares generally end up being lower than a street hail. Once that’s factored in, it adds up to an additional USD$13,544.81 saved per year.

So just by switching to Grab for Business, an average company in Southeast Asia can save a total of USD$30,570.52. Not bad.

Say goodbye to long processing times, hidden costs and all-around inefficiencies. The Grab for Business portal can be your one-stop solution to streamlining operations, freeing up time that can be put towards much more productive means. It really doesn’t have to cost that much money to make money after all.