Singapore fintech firm MatchMove has confirmed its bid for a digital full bank license in the city state. It will lead a consortium that includes Singapura Finance, as well as two fintech players from Thailand and the UK, Lightnet and OpenPayd.
MatchMove said in a press statement released on Thursday that this is the natural next step to scale its banking-as-a-service platform. Founded in 2009 by Shailesh Naik, MatchMove said that it is already functioning like a digital bank, providing a comprehensive set of financial services such as e-wallet services, lending, P2P domestic transfers, and cross-border remittances, targeting both business and individual customers across Southeast Asia and India.
Joining the MatchMove-led consortium, Singapura Finance is a household name in the city-state that primarily provides loans to individuals and corporates. Fintech firm Lightnet and OpenPayd are considered “premier regulated financial institutions” by industry experts in their respective markets. In particular, blockchain startup Lightnet recently raised USD 31.2 million led by UOB Venture Management to capitalize on the global remittance market, with a focus on Southeast Asia.
“At its core, MatchMove aims to improve the quality of people’s digital life by extending essential and safe banking services to them anytime anywhere,” said founder and group CEO Shailesh Naik. “Our proposed digital banking-as-a-service will accelerate this objective by leveraging our existing and already available capabilities to address current pent up demand and reach digitally underserved segments like SMEs and gig workers.”
Naik added that MatchMove and its partners’ existing ecosystems will allow the proposed digital bank to access tens of thousands of SMEs and millions of Singaporean consumers quickly. The arrangement will also enable it to be deployed across borders by working with consortia in other regional countries.
Singapore’s Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) said last June that it will issue up to two digital full bank licenses and three digital wholesale bank licenses as part of Singapore’s push to liberalize its banking sector. MAS is expected to announce the roster of successful licensees in the middle of this year. If all goes according to schedule, the digital banks will commence business by mid-2021.
In the digital full bank category, other notable players have also made bids, including Grab-Singtel, Sea and Razer.