Singapore issues four digital bank licenses, holds back on one

The Singaporean Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) issued four digital bank licences to Alibaba‘s Ant Group, joint bidders Singtel and Grab, as well as Internet services company Sea which will be put into force starting in early 2022.

Yet, the applicants still have to fulfil all relevant prudential requirements and licensing pre-conditions before they are granted banking licenses. While the consortium comprising Grab and Singtel as well as Sea have been issued digital full bank licenses, Ant and another consortium comprising Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklog is Hong Kong, and Beijing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management have been given digital wholesale bank licenses.

Yet, Singapore headquartered Razer was unsuccessful in securing a license. According to the MAS, the evaluation of the application hinges on the business model value proposition; innovative use of technology to serve customers; ability to manage a sustainable digital banking business; and growth prospects and contributions to Singapore’s financial industry.