Axiata Group Bhd, one of Malaysia’s leading telecommunications groups has revealed that the company is in talks with 11 parties on possible partnerships to set up Malaysia’s maiden digital banking service. Axiata expects to establish a virtual bank by the second half of 2021, if it is selected among the five banks to receive a virtual banking license from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysia’s Central Bank.
Axiata’s subsidiary, Axiata Digital has introduced and operated a leading e-wallet brand in Malaysia, Boost, which has over 4 million users. It has also established a micro-lending platform named Aspirasi, providing over MYR 50 Million (USD 11.3 million) worth of microloans to 9,000 merchants.
Aside from Axiata, Southeast Asia’s largest e-hailing operator Grab has expressed interest to apply for the virtual banking license. Another interested party is the global gaming giant Razer Malaysia, which is eyeing for similar opportunity given the large youth demographic in Malaysia, which provides a large potential for the company. Both Grab and Razer have submitted their bids for a digital banking license in Singapore as well.
(Sources: The Edge Markets; New Straits Times)