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Case Study

Building a user-friendly Web3 experience with less effort

The opportunity

Creating enterprise-grade Web3 experiences requires significant business and engineering investment, and the results are often hard for customers to use.

The solution

Grab used Programmable Wallets to integrate Web3 functionality into their app and users found the experience delightfully simple.


Hours spent on blockchain infrastructure development by Grab engineering team


User completion of wallet setup due to simple user experience

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Grab is a leading superapp in Southeast Asia. Serving over 500 cities in eight countries, Grab enables millions of people every day to order food, send packages, hail a ride, pay for online purchases, or access services such as lending and insurance, all through a single app.


Southeast Asia

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Web3 unlocks better financial services

Grab believes that Web3 technology can improve the financial system for people. For example, what if government vouchers for food aid could be sent directly to peoples’ phones in a way that would automatically ensure they were spent by the right person to buy the right types of goods? 

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) distributed over the blockchain can accomplish this goal.

  1. The criteria for spending the funds is programmed into the NFT.
  2. The funds settle near-instantly for participating merchants.
  3. Every transaction is fully traceable, so that aid program managers can measure the impact of their programs and protect against fraud.
The challenge is to make NFTs and blockchain transactions simple enough for anyone to reliably use. So Grab partnered with Circle on a pilot to test whether they could deliver a simple Web3 experience for consumers.

The challenges of building usable Web3 apps

There are two main reasons why Web3 experiences aren’t widely adopted and implemented today: they’re difficult for people to use and they’re difficult to build.

Using a Web3 wallet typically requires people to do several things that are confusing and time-consuming. First they have to create a wallet to store and transact with NFTs, which often requires them to find and download a separate wallet app. In order to access this wallet, users need to remember lengthy “seed phrases,” and if they lose those seed phrases they might lose access to their funds for good. To transact, they frequently need to copy-paste wallet addresses of long incomprehensible strings, and pay network fees using crypto currencies like MATIC that they might not easily be able to acquire.

As a leading superapp in Southeast Asia, Grab wanted to offer Web3 functionality that would meet the expectations of their users, but they had to make using a Web3 wallet easy and find a way to develop a solution without overtaxing their in-house product teams.  In addition to the typical backend and frontend development required to build any user experience, Grab would also need developers capable of writing code in Solidity, the specialized programming language used to write the smart contracts that power most Web3 transactions. Additionally, they would need people to set up and manage nodes, the underlying server infrastructure needed to run Web3 applications.

Grab chose Programmable Wallets from Circle to lower the cost of development of Web3 functionality. They needed an enterprise-grade partner they could trust to handle their scale and deliver a reliable experience.

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Programmable Wallets allowed Grab to deliver a great user experience in a fraction of the development time

Grab used Circle’s Programmable Wallets to embed a Web3 wallet directly into their app, reducing their development time significantly.

Grab chose to test-drive this experience with its users at a major international race in Singapore - the 2023 Formula 1 event. Through its app, Grab issued coupon packs that unlocked a variety of experiences around the city including discounts at iconic restaurants for popular food and attractions. Underpinning the coupon packs was state-of-the-art NFT technology intelligently programmed to evaluate whether the user was using them in the right place and at the right time, and automatically unlock additional rewards for qualifying users.

Users set up their wallets in seconds by simply selecting a short PIN and adding security questions for account recovery. The wallet was seamlessly blended into the Grab app with matching styles and navigational elements. Users could spend their vouchers by scanning a QR code on their phone, and they didn’t have to pay network fees (known as “gas”). 80% of users in the pilot completed the wallet setup process successfully.

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We are proud of the innovative experience we were able to deliver in partnership with the Circle team. Through Programmable Wallets, Circle helped us meet the high bar our consumers have for our app.”
Michelle Chou, Product Manager, Grab
Services are provided by Circle Technology Services, LLC (“CTS”). Services do not include financial, investment, tax, legal, regulatory, accounting, business, or other advice. CTS is only a provider of software and related technology and is not engaged in any regulated money transmission activity in connection with the services it provides. For additional details, please click here to see the Circle Developer terms of service.

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