Grab and Singtel join forces to start digital bank

Ride hailing firm Grab will be partnering telco Singtel to form a new consortium to apply for a digital banking license in Singapore.
By: | December 30, 2019

Leading ride hailing firm Grab and Singapore telco Singtel will be forming a new consortium to apply for a digital full bank licence in Singapore, the two companies announced on December 30.

Grab has become a household name in South East Asia since it started as a ride hailing service and has since expanded into financial services through their GrabPay while Singtel is one of the leading telcos in the region.

And the two companies hope the partnership will bring a whole new banking experience for everyday banking needs with personalisation, financial technology and innovation.

“The core of Grab’s mission has always been to solve everyday challenges and unlock economic potential in Southeast Asia. In the past two years, we have launched and scaled financial services such as e-money, lending and insurance distribution into Southeast Asia’s largest fintech ecosystem,” said Mr Reuben Lai, Senior Managing Director, Grab Financial Group.

“The natural next step is to build a truly customer-centric digital bank that will deliver a variety of banking and financial services that are accessible, transparent and affordable. We are excited to partner with Singtel, a well-respected brand in Singapore and the region, to provide a more bespoke service experience that will empower our users to save more, grow their wealth and transact seamlessly.”

Mr Arthur Lang, CEO of Singtel’s International Group, said, “Singtel has always been an enabler of change. We’re excited by the opportunity to move into the digital banking space, which is a natural extension of the mobile financial services that we are already offering to our large base of customers.

“Just as we’ve been building an ecosystem of digital services to improve the way customers live, work and play, we want to fundamentally change the way consumers and enterprises bank.

“Together with Grab, which has extensive digital expertise and experience in this region, we have a formidable set of assets and significant synergies to make banking more accessible and intuitive, and deliver much-needed product simplicity, speed and affordability,” he added.

Grab will have a 60% stake in the consortium entity while Singtel will hold a 40% stake.