Grab, Singtel team up for digital full bank licence, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Grab, Singtel team up for digital full bank licence

This article is more than 12 months old

Grab to hold 60% stake in consortium, with telco taking up remaining 40%

Singtel and Grab are making a bid for a digital full bank licence together, deepening their venture into the financial sector.

Both companies are forming a consortium to make the bid, with ride-hailing company holding a 60 per cent stake in it and the telco taking up the remaining 40 per cent.

A digital full bank licence will allow Grab and Singtel to serve retail customers as well as businesses. They are allowed to take deposits as well as extend loans.

Grab and Singtel said in a statement: "The digital bank will aim to cater to the needs of digital-first customers, who have come to expect greater convenience and personalisation, and small and medium-sized enterprises, which cite lack of access to credit as a key pain point."

They said the consortium aims to be well positioned to offer relevant products and services and become a trusted partner for consumers and enterprises.

Both companies already provide e-wallet services.

Singtel has Dash, while Grab, which also offers delivery services, has GrabPay.

Singtel has been working on a regional alliance of e-wallets that will allow users to pay for their purchases overseas with their local e-wallets. Grab has ventured into insurance and lending, according to previous media reports.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore announced in June it will issue up to five new digital bank licences for both full and wholesale banks to players who may not have an established record in banking.

It will stop accepting applications today.

Other organisations that have expressed interest in applying for the licence include NTUC Enterprise, the V3 Group and Razer.

A V3 Group spokesman would not say if it has applied for the licence.

Razer is still exploring the virtual bank licence, a company spokesman said.

An NTUC Enterprise spokesman said the organisation is unable to comment on any specific opportunities at this point.


The Business Times reported yesterday that a consortium comprising OCBC Bank, Keppel Corporation and Validus Capital fell through.

Singtel and Grab will know if their application has been approved by the middle of next year.