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Grab, Razer, AirAsia, Axiata, and CIMB consider digital banking licensing in Malaysia

Monday 27 January 2020 11:56 CET | News

Grab, Razer, AirAsia, Axiata and CIMB have expressed the intentions of apply for digital banking licences in Malaysia, according to Reuters.

Some of these companies have begun talking to consultancies as they explore a possible foray into digital banking.

Across Asia, regulators are opening up banking to new digital players, encouraged by a boom in mobile connectivity and the prospect of tech companies offering low-cost financial services.

In December 2019, Malaysia’s central bank announced plans to issue up to five licences to new online banks offering either conventional or Islamic banking under a proposed licensing framework set to be finalised by the end of June. Malaysia has said it prefers bidders whose equity is controlled by local companies.

Razer was in talks with a local conglomerate for a Malaysian licence.

One option for Axiata is to apply through Axiata Digital Services, which houses all of the group’s digital ventures and owns the e-wallet Boost. AirAsia’s financial services venture, BigPay, operates an e-wallet that comes with a prepaid card.

Ant Financial and Touch n’ Go’s e-wallet is the largest e-wallet service in Malaysia with 6.9 million registered users. CIMB, which owns a majority stake in Touch n’ Go, is exploring a licence bid.

Axiata Digital said it had signalled interest for digital banking. Grab and AirAsia declined to comment. CIMB did not respond to Reuters queries, while Ant Financial said it was too premature to comment.


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Keywords: Grab, Razer, AirAsia, Axiata, CIMB, digital banking, banking license
Categories: Banking & Fintech | Online & Mobile Banking
Countries: Malaysia
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Banking & Fintech






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