The National Co-operative Movement of Malaysia (Angkasa) has expressed interest in vying for one of the five digital bank licences offered by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). To do so, it has identified more than 10 conglomerates and major cooperatives in the country as its strategic partners.
According to the president of Angkasa, Datuk Abdul Fattah Abdullah, these strategic partners include telecommunications and finance companies. Each of them possesses strengths that can support Angkasa’s application for the licence, thereby giving the cooperative movement a significant edge.
“For example, large companies have large capitals and we need a certain amount of capital as it is one of the conditions to apply for the licence. Additionally, we need strategic partners among cooperatives because of their large number of members,” said Abdul Fattah.
Abdul Fattah also added that the digital bank licence will strengthen Angkasa’s position from various aspects, including its role as the driving force of the country’s cooperatives in the future. Founded in 1971, Angkasa describes itself as the national apex cooperative of Malaysia, representing the cooperative movement in Malaysia on both the national and international level.
Meanwhile, BNM will issue Malaysia’s five digital bank licences by the end of the year. The licences – which saw interest from numerous parties, including Grab, AirAsia, AMTD, Sunway Group, and BigPay – had encountered a delay in rollout due to disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. This came following BNM’s decision to extend the consultation period for the digital banking regulatory framework from 30 April to 30 June.