Here are the 5 digital bank licencees approved by Bank Negara Malaysia

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has nowadays unveiled the consortiums that will be acquiring a electronic banking licence in Malaysia, as approved by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

The names chosen have been break up into two categories:

  • Monetary Products and services Act 2013 (FSA): three licencees
  • Islamic Money Providers Act 2013 (IFSA): two licencees.

Three out of the 5 consortiums are bulk-owned by Malaysians, particularly Enhance Holdings and RHB Financial institution Berhad Sea Minimal and YTL Electronic Cash and KAF Financial commitment Bank.

Under the Monetary Products and services Act 2013 (FSA)

We have bought:

  • Enhance Holdings and RHB Bank consortium 
  • GXS Bank and Kuok Brothers consortium 
  • Sea Team and YTL Digital Money consortium.

Enhance-RHB Lender

Impression Credit score: Strengthen / RHB Lender

Increase Holdings (Boost) is the e-wallet below Axiata, the Malaysian telecommunications conglomerate. 

Released in 2017, Enhance was one of the initially cashless e-wallet applications to have been extensively adopted in Malaysia, presumably thanks to its interesting cashbacks. It then expanded to give other effortless products and services these kinds of as paying for expenses, coverage, on-line procuring, prime-up cellular credit rating, and getting journey tickets, to identify a several.

RHB Financial institution (RHB) is a single of Malaysia’s premier banks incorporated in 1994, with 194 actual physical branches in Malaysia (as of 2013). It is searching to ramp up its digitalisation endeavours, indicated by its hackathons held in 2021 and 2022, with the latter gratifying winners from its RM26,000 prize pool.

The lender is concentrating on to achieve 95% of electronic transactions and 50% of electronic revenue by 2023 as section of its digital tactic results. 

Axiata’ subsidiary Strengthen will lead, proudly owning 60% of the consortium, and RHB proudly owning 40%.

Leveraging Boost’s current sources in digital payment solutions, and RHB’s methods from clients and their information, the consortium is in a robust position to create personalised merchandise to fulfil BNM’s drive for money inclusion as a electronic lender.

GXS Bank-Kuok Brothers

GXS Bank is the Get-Singtel consortium (presumably an abbreviation for Grab X Singtel) that was granted a digital banking licence in Singapore. 

Seize and Singtel workplaces in Singapore / Impression Credit history: Grab and Singtel

In Malaysia, it was also vying for a electronic banking licence, and we last predicted that they’d be picked as portion of BNM’s five picks. It was exactly where we previous described that Get is in a cozy monetary placement to grow its money products and services if picked as a digital financial institution.

Now, Grab Malaysia presents economic merchandise like a BNPL services, GrabPay Later on, and in Singapore, a micro-expense services, AutoInvest. 

If the latter is localised for the Malaysian market, it can gain area gig employees along with micro SMEs. This will fulfil the expectations of a electronic bank serving unserved and underserved markets in the place, as outlined by BNM.

As electronic banking companies are imagined to give all banking solutions on the internet, there will not be any retail presence such as physical bank branches for GXS Bank. Thus, it is most likely that GXS Financial institution will give deposit account openings without the need of a minimal volume or a reduced minimum threshold. 

Kuok Brothers started off in 1949 in Johor Bahru. It was established by Robert Kuok, the richest gentleman in Malaysia with a internet truly worth of US$11.7 billion (RM49.3 billion). 

Around 70 several years, the Kuok Group has developed to turn out to be one of Asia’s greatest multinational conglomerates. It has operations spanning 6 continents in sectors ranging from logistics and maritime, to houses and hospitality.

In our last predictions piece outlined above, we acknowledged that Get-Singtel might confront worries in the reality that it does not use to 1 of BNM’s digital banking criteria. It highlighted a desire in which the managing fairness in the certified digital financial institution is held by Malaysians.

Perhaps signing up for a consortium with the Kuok Brothers has alleviated this concern, while it is unidentified how substantially of the digital banking possession will be held by every get together.

Sea Team-YTL

Sea Team and YTL’s headquarters / Graphic Credit: Sea Team and YTL

Sea Group has already secured a electronic banking licence in Singapore. It’s widely recognised as the father or mother corporation of Shopee, with fintech ventures in Malaysia these as ShopeePay and SPayLater. 

Partnering with conglomerate YTL, its routines span motels, property, technology, infrastructure, and additional. The group’s main business has US$17.1 billion in overall assets.

Shopee Malaysia amassed close to 54 million buyers for every month, indicating its relevance and solid model existence in the regional market place, as of Q2 2021. This implies that the platform has huge facts sets of shopper behaviours and developments on how Malaysians shell out their cash.

With these kinds of mass facts, Sea Group will have couple issues generating personalised fiscal answers that will be relevant to the requires of Malaysian buyers. Getting in a consortium with a community conglomerate implies funding for new tech developments would be a breeze.

Below the Islamic Fiscal Companies Act 2013 (IFSA) 

We have received:

  • AEON Financial Assistance Co., Ltd., AEON Credit Provider (M) Berhad and MoneyLion Inc. consortium
  • KAF Expense Financial institution consortium.

AEON Credit rating Support, AEON Money Support, and MoneyLion

One of the brand’s physical branches / Image Credit history: AEON Credit history Support

AEON Credit Company is a non-bank financial institution (NBFI) that has been operational in Malaysia since 1996. It offers solutions these kinds of as the issuance of credit score playing cards, straightforward payment strategies, private funding, and insurance. 

It has an ecosystem of 205 stores that cater to numerous existence, pointing to the substantial arrive at the company has when it will come to rolling out its digital banking solutions down the line.

Getting by now crafted a strong foundation, the organization will probably go on offering its latest money providers with improved integration in between individuals and its gross sales channels.

Its parent company AEON Monetary Assistance retains a 60% stake in the consortium. Meanwhile, US-centered fintech firm, MoneyLion gives lending, economic advisory, and investment services to individuals. Amongst its co-founders is Malaysian Chee Mun Foong.

MoneyLion went public through a merger with SPAC Fusion Acquisition Corp in September 2021, and the clean money from its listing will bolster its digital banking ambitions.

KAF Financial investment Financial institution

Graphic Credit rating: KAF Expense Financial institution

This is a single consortium that you could say flew below the radar amidst all the predictions about Malaysia’s electronic banking applicants.

The only type of news we could find about KAF Financial commitment Bank that was linked to electronic banking was its July 2021 investment in a area remittance-targeted fintech company, MoneyMatch, which was a person of the 29 documented digital banking applicants.

KAF Expenditure Lender has been operating given that 1975, working with funds marketplace instruments and investing in credit card debt securities. Its diversified portfolio includes providing expert services like expenditure banking, stockbroking, Islamic banking, analysis, investment fund administration, fund advisory, and trustee expert services.

We’re not positive what other organisations are portion of this consortium, but we can see how KAF Investment decision Bank’s large and extended-standing expertise has produced it one particular of BNM’s 5 picks. 


Next this announcement, the productive applicants will endure a period of operational readiness that will be validated by BNM by way of an audit just before they can start operations. This procedure may consider involving 12 to 24 months.

In line with the five strategic thrusts said in the Fiscal Sector Blueprint 2022-2026, BNM will proceed to perform with the pertinent gamers and stakeholders. This is to consistently boost accessibility to money companies in the course of the region and throughout all segments of modern society.

  • Read other content we’ve published on electronic banking here.

Highlighted Graphic Credit score: Rashid Mohamad, CEO of RHB Bank / Robert Kuok, founder of Kuok Brothers (picture by Forbes) / Forrest Li, CEO of Sea Group (photo by Forbes)

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