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Ride-hailing company Grab recently announced its new venture with telecoms service provider Singtel to bid for a digital full bank license in Singapore. The would-be consortium would see Grab owning a 60% share while Singtel will hold the remaining 40%.

According to Grab, the enterprise is planning to target digital users and SMEs who encounter difficulties when accessing credit. The license will not only enable the two companies to support retail customers, but it also allows other companies to borrow money from the digital bank.

Grab and Singtel both put out a statement saying, “The digital bank will aim to cater to the needs of digital-first customers, who have come to expect greater convenience and personalisation, and small and medium-sized enterprises, which cite lack of access to credit as a key pain point.”

Since 2016, Grab has managed to deploy a number of other financial services across Southeast Asia, while still maintaining its status as the number one ride-hailing app in the region.

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 Reuben Lai, senior managing director at Grab Financial Group.”

Lai added that creating a digital bank would have eventually been the “natural next step” in expanding their portfolio.

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