finance news

China’s Ant Group launches digital bank ANEXT in Singapore for SMEs

China’s Ant Group launches digital bank ANEXT in Singapore for SMEs

ANEXT Bank, the Ant Group-backed digital bank, which will specialize in offering financial services to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), reportedly opened its doors in Singapore on Monday (June 6), becoming the second digital wholesale bank to open in the last few days.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) approved Ant Group's fully owned subsidiary on June 2 after it was first granted a license at the end of 2020.

The firm went on to say that it would concentrate on assisting local and regional micro and small businesses, particularly those engaged in cross-border activities for growth and worldwide expansion.

The MAS had approved four digital bank licenses approximately two years ago in an effort to liberalize the financial system.

Aside from Ant Group's ANEXT Bank, the other digital wholesale bank license was given to a consortium comprised of China's Greenland Financial as well as Linklogis Hong Kong, which opened the Green Link Digital Bank on Friday.

Meanwhile, Sea, a technology company, and a Grab-Singtel consortium both received a digital full bank license, allowing them to serve both retail and wholesale customers.

In general, digital banks provide services similar to those provided by traditional banks, like receiving loans, deposits, and enabling payments and loans, but these are all done online because digital banks do not have physical locations.

Toh Su Mei, CEO of ANEXT Bank, believes that financial services must adapt in tandem with evolving business models, such as being digital-first or implementing a hybrid model.

For the time being, it is focusing on a dual-currency deposit account with security functionalities like remote onboarding as well as three-factor authentication verification.

Starting from Q3, the ANEXT Business account will be accessible to the general SME community. From Monday, those willing can register their interest on the company's website.

Regarding the interest rates, Mei stated that the entrant is not out to compete and especially not here to ignite a pricing war.

The bank also inked a two-year MOU with Proxtera, a B2B marketplace network established in 2020 with MAS as well as the Infocomm Media Development Authority's support.

Source credit:

About the author

Omkar Patwardhan

Omkar Patwardhan started his professional career in the hospitality industry. Having nurtured a deep-sated passion for words however, he found his way into content writing and now pens down articles for numerous websites, including News Origins, spanning the sectors of business, finance, and technology.