According to an article on Business Times, the Grab-Singtel consortium as well as ecommerce conglomerate SEA has just won the digital full banking license awarded by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).
Singapore is taking a big step forward in fintech with the opening of digital bank license applications by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), allowing non-bank players to enter the market and serve consumers and businesses for the first time.
Announced in June 2019, MAS will be awarding a total of five licenses: two digital full bank licenses which allow licensees to serve retail customers and take deposits, and three digital wholesale bank licenses to serve SMEs and non-retail segments.
Both Grab-Singtel and SEA, which is the parent company behind popular ecommerce platform Shopee, must meet all the licensing requirements before they are awarded the full digital banking license.
With the new digital banking license, they will now be able to provide retail customers with services such as account openings, deposits, as well as debit and credit cards.
Digital full banks are also able to serve corporate customers.
According to MAS, the new digital banks will likely commence operations starting 2022.
Ravi Menon, managing director of MAS, further added in a statement: “MAS applied a rigorous, merit-based process to select a strong slate of digital banks.”
“We expect them to thrive alongside the incumbent banks and raise the industry’s bar in delivering quality financial services, particularly for currently underserved businesses and individuals. They will further strengthen Singapore’s financial sector for the digital economy of the future.”
Anthony Tan, Group CEO & Co-Founder of Grab, shared that they “are honoured to have this opportunity to build Singapore’s next generation digital bank, and open up access to easy to understand and relevant financial services”.
“With Grab and Singtel’s combined experience in meeting the everyday needs of Singaporeans, as well as our deep tech expertise and data-driven insights, the digital bank will further our goal to empower more people to gain better control of their money and achieve better economic outcomes for themselves, their businesses and families,” added Anthony.
Speaking on the new digital banking entrants, Shee Tse Koon, Singapore Country Head of DBS Bank shared:
“We congratulate the successful applicants and welcome them to our world, where digital banking is already a reality. We believe that the new entrants will spur us all on to do better and we will continue to focus on making banking more intuitive and invisible so that our customers can live more and bank less.”
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