, Singapore

Ant Group-backed ANEXT BANK makes soft launch in Singapore

Regulator hopes new digital banks will further grow Singapore's financial sector.

Ant Group’s digital wholesale bank has made its soft launch in Singapore following the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) approval to commence business on 2 June.

ANEXT Bank, one of the country’s two digital-only wholesale banks, will target local and regional micro, small, and medium enterprises, especially those engaging in cross-border operations for growth and global expansion, the bank said.

The soft launch follows just days after fellow wholesale neobank, Green Link Digital Bank, an entity launched from a consortium backed by the Greenland Financial Holdings Group, announced its debut in the Lion City. Both ANEXT Bank and GLDB were granted a wholesale digital banking license by MAS in November 2020.

The bank’s soft launch was graced by the MAS Chief Fintech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty.

Mohanty said that ANEXT Bank’s launch marks another milestone in Singapore’s digital bank development journey.

Also Read: MAS unveils new measures against digital banking scams

“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,” Mohanty said, commenting on the launch. 

“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,” he added.

As part of its soft launch, ANEXT Bank unveiled a preview of the ANEXT Business Account, a dual-currency deposit account with proprietary security measures including three-factor authentication verification. It also offers features such as remote onboarding and daily interest. 

ANEXT Bank also announced that it has signed a 2-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Proxtera – an entity supported by MAS, the Infocomm Media Development Authority and private sector entities, to transform and enable holistic cross-border trade among SMEs and businesses.

The MOU will see both organisations create and establish an open framework for all participating financial institutions as they provide financing and risk mitigation support for SMEs and platforms in global trades. 
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