Digital Bank Licensing in Singapore: The Contenders

Digital Bank Licensing in Singapore The Contenders

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Editor’s Note: This article is the second part of a four-part series that takes a closer look at the landscape of Digital Bank Licensing in Singapore. Read the previous article here.  

The roster of companies competing to gain a foothold in a strategic market such as Singapore are major league players in their respective fields. While no official word has been released on who, specifically, these players are, some of them already came out publicly with their bids.

Grab-Singtel tie up

Grab and Singtel has confirmed that they are making a bid for a digital full bank license. Grab, a ride-hailing firm, will hold 60% stake in the consortium while Singtel, the Republic’s largest telco will hold the remaining 40%.

According to its joint statement: “The digital bank will aim to cater to the needs of digital-first customers, who have come to expect greater convenience and personalisation, and small and medium-sized enterprises, which cite lack of access to credit as a key pain point.”

Razer Youth Bank 

Razer Fintech, who will take up a 60% majority stake, will lead a consortium of strategic partners who will take up the remaining equity interest in Razer Youth Bank. The strategic equity partners include: Sheng Siong Holdings, FWD, LinkSure Global, Insignia Ventures Partners and Carro.

“Should Razer Fintech and its consortium be awarded the license by the MAS, Razer Fintech is planning to extend its current fintech offerings to digital banking services by building the world’s first global youth bank, Razer Youth Bank, to be headquartered in Singapore, leveraging on the strength of Razer as a lifestyle brand synonymous with the youth and millennials, Razer’s global presence and the innovative digital payments platform Razer Fintech has built,” the company said in a press release.

The roster of companies competing to gain a foothold in a strategic market such as Singapore are major league players in their respective fields.

Ant Financial

Billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial has also submitted an application for a wholesale digital bank license. Currently, the fintech giant is behind MyBank, one of China’s operational virtual banks and also among those granted a digital bank license in Hong Kong. Its bid in Singapore is one that has been in the pipeline for quite some time as Ant Financial has previously stated its interest to bid for Singapore banking license.

BEYOND

BEYOND association, led by V3 Group and EZ link, also placed a bid for a full digital banking license. The strategic alliance is also joined by MSIG insurance, Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Heliconia and Far East Organisation.

According to Gan Chee Yen, the chairman-designate of BEYOND: “Our proposal represents the combined strengths of some of Singapore’s most established companies and their reach to SMEs and their workforce.”

“Together with my fellow incoming board members who have in-depth experience in risk management and digital banking operations in the UK and North Asia, we have developed a suite of innovative products and services that cater to the needs of the silver generation and SMEs operating in different industries,” he said.

Zall Consortium

China-based Zall Smart Commerce Group is bidding for a digital wholesale bank licence in Singapore. According to report, “Hong Kong-listed Zall operates Asia’s largest business-to-business (B2B) trade platform in China and South-east Asia. In 2018, the group achieved a gross merchandise value of more than 600 billion yuan (S$117 billion), serving over one milllion SME customers worldwide.”

According to our research, Zall is leading a consortium comprising Global eTrade Services (GeTS), a Singapore supply chain platform provider, and Marubeni Corporation, a Japanese trading conglomerate.

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This article is the second part of a four-part series that takes a closer look at the landscape of Digital Bank Licensing in Singapore. Here are the links the complete series:

Part 1: The Real Score

Part 2: The Contenders

Part 3: The Incumbents

Part 4: 2020 and Beyond

 

 

Image: mimisim / Shutterstock.com

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