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Grab and Singtel join forces to apply for Singapore digital banking licence

By Wong Chung Wee - on 30 Dec 2019, 11:45am

Grab and Singtel join forces to apply for Singapore digital banking licence

Grab and Singtel have jointly filed an application for a digital full banking licence in Singapore. The two companies will set up a consortium; Grab will hold a 60% stake in it, while Singtel will own the remaining 40%.

The Grab-Singtel consortium aims to provide financial services to “digital-first consumers”, and small medium enterprises, which need access to credit and may have been overlooked by traditional lenders. If their application is successful, a digital full bank licence will allow the consortium to take customer deposits, and provide vital credit to underserved segments, especially small businesses.

According to an earlier Straits Times report, a digital full bank will operate with restrictions, i.e., they aren’t allowed to provide complex investment products, or engage in prop trading. Instead, the bank can only provide “simple” credit and investment products.

The respective members of the consortium aren’t new to digital payment initiatives. Grab offers GrabPay feature to users of its Grab mobile app, while Singtel Dash is the company’s foray into mobile payment solutions. Early this month, Grab even launched the region’s first numberless payments card, GrabPay Card that’s backed by Mastercard.

According to The Straits Times, Grab and Singtel will only know the outcome of their application by the middle of 2020.

Source: Singtel, The Straits Times