Grab-Singtel, Sea, others win Malaysia digital bank license
(4 May 2022 – Malaysia) Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has awarded digital banking licenses to five applicants, including a consortium led by GXS Bank and Kuok Brothers, and another led by Sea Group and YTL Digital Capital.
GXS Bank is a Grab-Singtel joint venture, and Sea is the parent company of e-commerce platform Shopee. Both companies secured Singapore digital bank licences in 2020.
Other winning applicants for the licences include Boost Holdings, the fintech arm of Axiata, which teamed up with Malaysian banking group RHB Bank for the bid.
Two consortia – led by Aeon Financial Service and KAF Investment Bank – will be licensed under Malaysia's Islamic Financial Services Act.
Twenty nine consortia applied for the digital bank licences in June 2020, as companies looked to capitalise on Malaysia's growing fintech sector. Malaysia is the third country in Southeast Asia to issue digital bank licences, after Singapore and the Philippines.
“By adopting digital technology more widely for everyday transactions, we can significantly increase opportunities for our society to participate in the economy - by overcoming geographical barriers, reducing transaction costs and promoting better financial management,” said BNM governor Nor Shamsiah.