Grab, Singtel team up to apply for Singaporean digital banking license

Maria Nikolova

Grab will have a 60% stake in the consortium which will apply for a digital full bank licence in Singapore, whereas Singtel will hold a 40% stake.

Super app Grab Holdings Inc and Asia’s leading communications technology group Singtel today announce the establishment of a consortium to apply for a digital full bank licence in Singapore. Grab will have a 60% stake in the consortium, wheras Singtel will hold a 40% stake.

The digital bank will aim to cater to the needs of digital-first consumers, who expect greater convenience and personalisation, and SMEs which cite lack of access to credit as a key pain point.

The consortium will offer relevant products and services and aims to become a trusted partner for consumers and enterprises; embedding banking and financial services seamlessly into the everyday lives of Grab and Singtel’s large, highly-engaged base of customers.

Over the past several years, Grab has grown far beyond its ride-hailing roots. Since first introducing the GrabPay wallet in 2016 and launching Grab Financial Group in 2018, it has built solutions in payments, rewards, lending and insurance. This experience has allowed Grab to better understand the needs of the unbanked and underbanked segments of Southeast Asia, offering them innovative services that accelerate financial inclusion.

Both strong and trusted brand names in Singapore and the region, Grab and Singtel have been driving innovation and financial inclusion with their respective financial services including Dash, VIA, GrabPay and GrabInsure.

Let’s recall that, in August this year, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced it will commence accepting applications for new digital bank licences.

The new digital bank licences, which will be extended to non-bank players, are set to ensure that Singapore’s banking sector continues to be resilient and competitive. Digital full banks will be allowed to take deposits from and provide a wide range of financial services to retail and non-retail customer segments, while digital wholesale banks will be permitted to serve SMEs and other non-retail segments. These new digital banks are in addition to any digital banks that Singapore banking groups may already establish under MAS’ existing regulatory framework.

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