Ant Group Launches Digital Bank ANEXT in Singapore

UTC by Benjamin Godfrey · 3 min read
Ant Group Launches Digital Bank ANEXT in Singapore
Photo: Shutterstock

The establishment of ANEXT is a sign that the firm is still keeping track of its growth push, and should the new firm trail Ant Group’s style of growth, it stands the chance of becoming a mega unicorn in the near future.

Ant Group, one of the biggest financial technology firms in China has launched ANEXT, a digital bank in Singapore. As reported by Reuters, Ant Group, majority-owned by Jack Ma’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (HKG: 9988) received the license for ANEXT to operate as a wholesale digital bank from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on June 2.

While Ant Group is known as one of the most dominant fintech firms in the country and in charge of the Alipay payment app, the ANEXT venture represents one of its biggest pushes outside of China.

The emergence of ANEXT takes precedence from the digital banking license Ant Group obtained from the MAS as far back as 2020. The license at the time gave it the access to serve large clients featuring both institutional and corporate clients respectively. ANEXT will have a very different focus as it seeks to primarily serve small and medium-scale enterprises.

“This marks yet another milestone in Singapore’s digital bank development journey, a strategic effort to ensure the banking sector remains progressive, globally competitive, and vibrant,” said MAS Chief Fintech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty.

ANEXT will be managed by financial services expert, Toh Su Mei and the new startup will be kickstarting its operations by developing an open framework for financial institutions. According to the joint statement announcing the new venture, to develop the framework, ANEXT will be partnering with Proxtera, a local entity initiated by MAS and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority.

ANEXT is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ant Group which is in turn majority-owned by Alibaba with over 33% stake in the company. Ant Group’s planned Initial Public Offering (IPO) was thwarted by Chinese regulators back in 2020, and should it have gone public at the time, the move would have been China’s biggest IPO to date.

The establishment of ANEXT is a sign that the firm is still keeping track of its growth push, and should the new firm trail Ant Group’s style of growth, it stands the chance of becoming a mega unicorn in the near future.

The startup’s business accounts for the SMEs it hopes to serve will be launched or available in the third quarter of this month.

Ant Group ANEXT Launch, One of Many Digital Banks

Singapore has started seeing a number of digital banking entities spring up as tech companies consider the economy ripe for such innovations.

Besides Ant Group and its ANEXT digital bank, homegrown company Sea and an offshoot of ride-hailing giant, Grab also won the “digital full bank” licenses in 2020. Per the government’s projections, both companies are on track to float their own digital banks any moment from now.

The Singaporean society is developing on all fronts and its financial landscape is not taking a back place amongst other Southeast Asian nations. Besides digital banking, MAS is also granting licenses to cryptocurrency startups with proven innovations to revolutionize the financial landscape.

Business News, FinTech News, News
Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.

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