Bank Negara Malaysia Announces Successful Digital Bank Licence Applicants

The digital banks are expected to further advance financial inclusion

Teckwai Saw

1 May, 2022

Bank Negara Malaysia Announces Successful Digital Bank Licence Applicants | BEAMSTART News

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has announced the five successful applicants for the digital bank licences after a month from the central bank’s original deadline.

BNM said all 29 applications ranging from companies to partnerships across different industries, were thoroughly assessed.

The assessment criteria covered the character and integrity of applicants, nature and sufficiency of financial resources, soundness and feasibility of business and technology plans as well as ability to meaningfully address financial inclusion gaps.

Applicants Licensed under the Financial Services Act 2013 (FSA)

  • a consortium of Boost Holdings Sdn Bhd and RHB Bank Bhd
  • a consortium led by GXS Bank Pte Ltd and Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd
  • a consortium led by Sea Ltd and YTL Digital Capital Sdn Bhd

Applicants Licensed under the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 (IFSA)

  • a consortium of AEON Financial Service Co Ltd, AEON Credit Service (M) Bhd and MoneyLion Inc
  • a consortium led by KAF Investment Bank Sdn Bhd

Community Q&A

Boost Holdings Sdn. Bhd. and RHB Bank Berhad

  • The consortium was considered a frontrunner among analysts and industry observers.
  • The consortium will be led by Axiata with its subsidiary Boost Holdings owning 60% and RHB owning 40% in the digital bank.
  • The consortium plans to target the underserved segment like micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and the gig economy.
  • Boost said it has been laying the foundation for a digital bank through a micro-lending service called Boost Credit.

GXS Bank Pte Ltd and Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd

  • Registered in Singapore, GXS is jointly owned by Grab and Singtel, while Kuok Brothers is a Malaysian investment holding company with subsidiaries spanning across multiple industries.
  • Grab has appointed Ms. Pei Si Lai, a former senior from Standard Chartered as its CEO designate.
  • Grab plans to hire 200 staff for its new digital bank in Malaysia.

Sea Ltd and YTL Digital Capital Sdn Bhd

  • Sea Limited is a tech conglomerate and has a payment arm which offers various products such as its e-wallet ShopeePay and its buy now, pay later (BNPL) service, SPayLater.
  • YTL Berhad is a Malaysian conglomerate with business interests spanning across hospitality, property, technology, and more.
  • In 2020, Sea Group was granted a full digital banking license in Singapore alongside Grab.
  • In 2021, Sea Group acquired Indonesia’s Bank BKE with the goal of transforming it into a digital bank, it has since rebranded to Sea Bank.

KAF Investment Bank, MoneyMatch, Carsome and Jirnexu

  • The consortium consists of well-known Malaysian startups and led by KAF Investment Bank, was considered a dark horse in this race.
  • MoneyMatch is a Malaysia-based fintech focusing on cross-border payments with operations in Malaysia, Australia, and Brunei.
  • Jirnexu is well known for their comparison site RinggitPlus.
  • Carsome is an online used car platform and is Malaysia’s first tech unicorn.

AEON Financial Service Co Ltd, AEON Credit Service (M) Berhad and MoneyLion Inc

  • AEON Credit is a provider of consumer financing services and a licensed moneylender.
  • MoneyLion is a US-based fintech company, with its technology hub located in Malaysia.

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