Shortly after Razer and Grab, world’s highest-valued FinTech company “Ant Financial” applied for a digital wholesale banking license in Singapore in its aim to promote global financial inclusion.
This move is a major step up for the company whose goals are to expand in other countries and serve corporate clients.
“We look forward to contributing to the development of the digital banking landscape in Singapore,” Ant Financial wrote in a statement sent to Bloomberg.com.
Just this week, it was reported that ridesharing company Grab and gaming manufacturer Razer both submitted bids to seek for full banking licenses in Singapore.
Singapore, dubbed as the global financial center, provides five virtual licenses to create virtual lenders and boost banking innovation.
These include three licenses for wholesale digital banks, the type applied by Ant Financial, which require S$100 million capital and allow the provision of services not only to small and medium enterprises but also to non-retail customer sectors.
While the remaining two licenses, which were applied by Grab and Razer, require a principal investment of S$1.5 billion in order to provide banking services to retail and non-retail clients.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that the deadline for the application of the virtual licenses was on the last day of 2019. While the list of the winning bidders shall be announced by this mid-year.
If billionaire Jack Ma’s Ant Financial successfully wins, it would enter the tilt of the rising market for digital banking in Southeast Asia, along with DBS Group Holdings Ltd. And Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp.