Mega-Fintech Ant Group has announced the launch of ANEXT Bank, a digital wholesale bank, in Singapore.
Several years back, Singapore commenced the approval of digital-only banking licenses. Ant Group was one of the approved digital banking providers. ANEXT Bank is one of the two successful applicants to receive the digital wholesale banking license issued by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), focusing on providing digital financial services to local and regional micro, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to aid their growth and expansion.
ANEXT Bank held an event today for the soft launch which was attended by Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer at MAS, and the CEO of ANEXT bank is Toh Su Mei. The event included a presentation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Saurav Bhattacharyya of Proxtera and ANEXT which aims to simplify global trade for SMEs. The agreement is for two years.
Proxtera was launched in 2020 as the commercialization of the Business sans Borders initiative by MAS and Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) to enhance digital and financial inclusivity for SMEs around the world.
Toh Su Mei commented at the launch that they believe it’s time to offer the next generation of financial services as business models are changing and pivoting to become digital-first, if not adopting a hybrid model.
“We are well-positioned to live up to this vision, leveraging Ant Group’s deep bench of technologies and know-how, along with our customer-obsessed local team dedicated to serving the SME community,” she stated. “Adopting an open and collaborative approach, we believe in joining hands with industry partners and the public sector to provide SMEs with financial services that are simpler, safer and more rewarding.”
Bhattacharyya said they are committed to simplifying global trade for SMEs:
“Seamless access and availability of trade financing solutions will help amplify business growth and accelerate expansion for SMEs. This mission is closely aligned with ANEXT Bank’s focus to serve SMEs engaging in cross-border operations. Together with ANEXT Bank’s digital-born identity and digital-first capabilities and services, I’m confident that we can make trade easier, more seamless, and efficient for SMEs.”
The MoU is said to see both organizations jointly create an open framework for all participating financial institutions as they provide financing and risk mitigation support for SMEs and platforms in global trades.
Mohanty described the launch as another milestone in Singapore’s digital bank development journey:
“Continuous innovation and new capabilities that digital banks are slated to bring will no doubt add more engines of growth to Singapore’s financial sector. MAS expects the digital banks to thrive and synergise with our dynamic financial institutions and raise the bar in delivering quality financial services, and to uplift Singapore’s financial sector to better support the growth of SMEs in Singapore, the region and in emerging markets.”
As part of the event, ANEXT Bank provided a preview of its Business Account, a dual-currency deposit account with security measures including three-factor authentication verification as well as features such as remote onboarding and daily interest.