Singapore: Grab and Singtel partner for digital banking licence application

| 02 Jan 2020

Grab Holdings Inc and Singtel are forming a consortium to apply for a digital full bank licence in Singapore. Grab will have a 60 percent stake in the consortium entity while Singtel will hold a 40 percent stake.

Grab and Singtel are committed to contributing to the financial services sector with a differentiated offering that addresses the unmet and underserved needs of consumer and enterprise segments in Singapore. The digital bank will aim to cater to the needs of digital-first consumers, who have come to expect greater convenience and personalisation, and SMEs which cite lack of access to credit as a key pain point.

The consortium will be well-positioned to offer relevant products and services and become a trusted partner for consumers and enterprises; embedding banking and financial services seamlessly into the everyday lives of Grab and Singtel’s large, highly-engaged base of customers.

Mr Reuben Lai, Senior Managing Director, Grab Financial Group, said: “In the past two years, we have launched and scaled financial services such as e-money, lending and insurance distribution into Southeast Asia’s largest fintech ecosystem. The natural next step is to build a truly customer-centric digital bank that will deliver a variety of banking and financial services that are accessible, transparent and affordable.”

Mr Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, said, “We’re excited by the opportunity to move into the digital banking space, which is a natural extension of the mobile financial services that we are already offering to our large base of customers. Just as we’ve been building an ecosystem of digital services to improve the way customers live, work and play, we want to fundamentally change the way consumers and enterprises bank.”

Grab has grown far beyond its ride-hailing roots. Since first introducing the GrabPay wallet in 2016 and launching Grab Financial Group in 2018, it has built solutions in payments, rewards, lending and insurance.

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Singtel has been innovating its core telco business and developing new digital growth businesses in areas such as cyber security and digital marketing which will add value to the digital bank. Together with its regional associates which are leading mobile operators in their respective markets, Singtel is tapping its deep local knowledge as it builds an ecosystem of digital services that includes mobile financial services, to deepen engagement and empower its customer base of more than 700 million across the region in meaningful ways.

In July 2019, Singtel partnered AIA to unveil StepUp, a wellness platform that allows customers to earn local mobile data with every step they take.

Singtel also made its first foray into the insurance market later that month as it partnered NTUC Income to bundle prepaid data plan and mobile remittance service with personal insurance.

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