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Former top Visa executive Ooi Huey Tyng starts work at Grab to steer e-payments push

FORMER Visa head honcho Ooi Huey Tyng has begun work at Grab in a move the company said "underlines the scale of (its) ambitions coming into 2018".

The South-east Asian technology startup announced on Monday that Ms Ooi had come on board as its managing director for GrabPay in Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines.

The move was first reported by The Business Times in November 2017. The payments industry veteran was previously Visa's country manager for Singapore and Brunei. Grab had previously declined to comment on the high-profile hire.

Her latest appointment is a significant one for Grab, which has evolved from its origins as a ride-hailing app to also offer a mobile payment service platform.

The company also said in a media release that its plans for the year include rolling out consumer payments for Malaysian users in the first six months, as well as expanding its recently launched peer-to-peer fund transfer service in the Philippines.

Grab held a multibillion-dollar financing round in 2017 that saw eye-popping investments from Didi Chuxing, SoftBank Group Corp and the Toyota Group's Toyota Tsusho Corporation, as well as debt facilities of up to US$700 million.

GrabPay Southeast Asia managing director Jason Thompson said in the media release on Monday: "Huey Tyng brings deep leadership expertise from some of the region's premier banks and payments providers.

"Her experience with our current and potential payments partners will be invaluable as GrabPay moves into its next phase of growth."

Ms Ooi joined Visa in 2012, after stints with DBS, UOB and Citi among others.

Mr Thompson himself is another relatively fresh face at Grab, moving over in 2017 after having been Euronet's Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia managing director.