Starting August, GrabFood will cover purchase expenses of its parter-riders

GrabFood has become a vital service these days. It has become a necessity for many people (like seniors) who were discouraged to go outside to buy food, especially during the quarantine. It's a regular part of our lives now.

Unfortunately, their services typically relies on "abono," where the rider initially shoulders the cost of the order, which is then paid back by the client upon delivery. However, because any client can order food without financial commitment, it has abused by some, even used to prank or scam the partner-riders.

Yesterday, at the House Committee on Trade and Industry hearing, Grab spokesperson and public affairs manager, Atty. Nicka Hosaka, said that starting August, GrabFood riders will no longer have to shoulder the cost of food orders upfront. Instead, it will be shouldered 100% by Grab through a new online payment scheme.

“Moving towards August, we will implement this model whereby when the delivery partner reaches the restaurant, [he or she] does not need to bring out any cash or pay any cash. He [or she] will simply pick up the order," said Hosaka.

This new system will take advantage of Grab’s virtual wallet. Once the payment is collected from the customer, the transaction amount will simply be debited from the rider’s virtual wallet.

“Everything is done online. The riders maintain a [virtual] wallet, and whatever amount will be collected will be debited straight from that wallet,” Hosaka told the committee in Filipino.

Currently, Grab has a reimbursement process in place for “no show” orders, after a partner-rider reports a canceled order. These are orders where the buyer cancels the order after the rider has already purchased it.

This new system will be implemented gradualy, says Grab. By August, the system will support up to 70% of the merchants they service, and hopefully more to come soon as the government is also pushing for cashless transactions to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The House Committee hearing was held to deliberate over the recently-filed House Bill 6958 or the “Food and Grocery Delivery Services Act.” If it becomes a law, persons who availed of the service by a motorcycle courier, for the purpose of pranking or with no genuine intention of availing of the service or goods will be fined up to PhP100,000 or face up to 6 years in prison. In addition, they will have to reimburse the rider the amount of the canceled/ bogus transaction, plus twice the fee for the canceled transaction.