Singapore’s first digital bank for the retail sector was launched by GXS Bank, a joint venture between Singapore Telecommunications and ride-sharing company Grab Holdings.
The Nasdaq-listed bank provides banking, digital payments, lending, insurance, food delivery and wealth management services. Grab’s rapidly growing financial services have become an essential part of its growth plan.
In December 2020, Singaporean companies Grab and technology company Sea were granted “complete digital banking” licenses, allowing them to immediately accept deposits and provide services locally to individuals and businesses.
“GXS is a local bank with a mission to serve the needs of entrepreneurs, gig economy workers and early workers in our community,” said GXS Singapore CEO Charles Wong.
According to Wong at the launch, the Grab and Singtel ecosystem in Singapore offers a potential market for GXS of around 3 million customers.
Although there are already a number of tech-savvy banks on the small island, such as DBS Group Holdings and OCBC, Grab wants to attract the construction workers who are the backbone of its operations.
Chin’s Ant Group and a group including Greenland Financial Holdings and other parties have obtained digital wholesale banking licenses, allowing them to work with large customers like corporations and financial institutions.
Three months after Grab Holdings and Singapore Telecommunications each bought a 16.3% stake in PT Bank Fama International to pursue banking prospects in Indonesia, a consortium led by GXS was awarded a digital banking license in Malaysia in April.
The GXS savings account will be phased in, starting with selected employees and underbanked customers under GXS, Grab and Singtel, it was announced. It will be available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store from September 5.
According to Wong, GXS will have no minimum deposit requirement and will offer daily interest deposits with a maximum annual rate of 1.58%.