Grab and Singtel team up for digital banking licence in Singapore

FILE PHOTO: A Grab logo is pictured at the Money 20/20 Asia Fintech Trade Show in Singapore. REUTERS/Anshuman Daga/File Photo

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

Both strong and trusted brand names in Singapore and the region, Grab and Singtel have been driving innovation and financial inclusion with their respective financial services including Dash, VIA, GrabPay and GrabInsure. This is further enhanced by their complementary ecosystem of lifestyle services. With their combined digital capabilities, fintech know-how and insights from operating customer-centric businesses, the consortium is primed to create a new, digital-first model of banking that is easy to use, affordable and accessible.                                                                                                 

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. This experience has allowed Grab to better understand the needs of the unbanked and underbanked segments of Southeast Asia, offering them innovative services  that accelerate financial inclusion. 

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. 

If successful in their application, Grab and Singtel will bring a whole new banking experience for everyday banking needs with personalisation, financial technology and innovation.

Editor’s Note: One can only hope that Grab’s security is dramatically improved before people entrust their money to the new entity. As a Grab user I have two different people in Malaysia and Indonesia using my email address as their own and I keep receiving their invoices. Even after informing Grab, nothing appears to have been done to remedy the situation. No alternative but to suspend the service. Not good for a digital bank hopeful!

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