In November of last year, Grab's Upfront Cash program, which was first introduced in 2018, became an issue.
The program enables selected grave drivers and grocery delivery partners to receive an advance on their future earnings and repay them in installments over a period of up to 26 weeks.
No interest is charged, but applicants are required to pay a one-time administration fee of 5 to 10 percent of the advance amount.
It should help drivers and groceries who need better cash flow options to pay for important instant spending.
Some Grab drivers had said that they felt "caught" after the prepayment when fluctuating tariffs and incentives later made it difficult for them to make the repayment.
Comments from Grab drivers in a Facebook community for privately rented drivers
This in turn caught the attention of the government parliamentary committee of Zainal Sapari, the vice chairman of the labor force, and the Ministry of Justice.
The Justice Department said it was looking for "more information" from Grab and working with the relevant authorities to "determine the applicable law".
When reviewing the Upfront Cash program, Secretary of State K Shanmugam urged drivers “to carefully review the terms of the (program) and assess their ability to meet the requirements and meet the financial obligations before participating in the program ".
The upfront cash program is coming to an end
The Straits Times reported on Sunday (February 23) Grab has now canceled the Upfront Cash program,
"In line with our focus on innovation and our ongoing commitment to our partners, we have discontinued the Cash Upfront program to explore improvements that can be made to ensure that the needs of our drivers and delivery partners are best met," said Grab in a statement.
The company has given no further reasons for the termination.
Some drivers welcomed the Upfront Cash program and said it was helpful and had no issues with repayment.
Comments from a grave driver in a Facebook community for privately rented drivers
Grab also said that 98% of drivers who signed up for the program since the start could earn and return their incentives.
The Justice Department pointed out that companies, including Grab, should be responsible for ensuring that the services they offer are lawful.
Businesses should be given a license or exemption to provide money lending services if their activities can be considered as lending.
Selected image source: Grab