The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has issued four digital banking licences.
Sea and the Grab-Singtel consortium have been given full virtual banking licences.
Ant Group and a coalition group have been offered “digital wholesale bank” licences.
The coalition includes Greenland Financial Holdings group, Linklogis Hong Kong and Biejing Co-operative Equity Investment Fund Management.
What does this mean?
Singapore’s move follows that of Hong Kong which has so far licenced eight virtual banks. MAS has made the decision to try and diversify the state’s financial services sector by choosing offerings it feels will “thrive” within the existing ecosystem of banks, and cater for those who are underserved.
MAS says the banks licenced this week should begin operating in early 2022.