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Grab, Razer, AirAsia among firms exploring bids for Malaysia digital bank licence

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR: Trip-hailing group Seize, gaming agency Razer, AirAsia, telecoms agency Axiata and lender CIMB are amongst corporations trying to apply for digital banking licences in Malaysia, sources mentioned.

A few of these corporations have begun speaking to consultancies as they discover a attainable foray into digital banking, mentioned the folks aware of the matter.

Throughout Asia, regulators are opening up banking to new digital gamers, inspired by a growth in cellular connectivity and the prospect of tech companies – not shackled to costly bodily branches – providing low-cost monetary companies.

This month Singapore acquired 21 purposes for 5 digital financial institution licences.

In December, Malaysia’s central financial institution introduced plans to situation as much as 5 licences to new on-line banks providing both typical or Islamic banking beneath a proposed licensing framework set to be finalised by the top of June.

“Many monetary and non-financial establishments are sizing up market alternatives and dealing with exterior events,” mentioned one of many folks, who declined to be recognized as they weren’t authorised to talk to the media.

Malaysia has mentioned it prefers bidders whose fairness is managed by native corporations.

The folks mentioned Razer – whose fintech unit led a consortium for a Singapore software – was in talks with a neighborhood conglomerate for a Malaysian licence. Native lenders Hong Leong Financial institution and Maybank are additionally contemplating bidding for a licence, the folks mentioned.

Razer Fintech’s CEO Lee Li Meng mentioned the corporate had intensive operations in Malaysia within the digital funds house and would consider the digital banking alternative.

One choice for Axiata is to use via Axiata Digital Providers, which homes the entire group’s digital ventures and owns the e-wallet Enhance. AirAsia’s monetary companies enterprise, BigPay, operates an e-wallet that comes with a pay as you go card.

Ant Monetary and Contact n’ Go’s e-wallet is the biggest e-wallet service in Malaysia with 6.9 million registered customers. CIMB, which owns a majority stake in Contact n’ Go, is exploring a licence bid, the folks mentioned.

Axiata Digital mentioned it had signalled curiosity for digital banking. Seize, AirAsia and Maybank declined to remark. CIMB didn’t reply to Reuters queries, whereas Ant Monetary mentioned it was too untimely to remark.

Below Malaysia’s draft proposals, digital banks have to supply services and products to handle market gaps in “underserved and unserved segments” and keep RM100mil in capital initially and ramp that as much as RM300mil. – Reuters

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