BNM: 29 Applications Received For Digital Banking Licences
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(Image: New Straits Times)

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) revealed that it has received a total of 29 applications for its proposed digital banking licence during the six-month application period, which ended on 30 June 2021. The licences are to be issued under the Financial Services Act 2013 and the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013.

“A diverse range of parties have submitted applications for the digital bank licence, ranging from banks, industry conglomerates, technology firms, e-commerce operators, fintech players, cooperatives, and state governments,” said the central bank in a statement, adding that it may issue up to five licences.

BNM further said that successful applicants will be notified in the first quarter of 2022, and that they will be expected to contribute towards greater financial inclusion once awarded the licences. This will be done through the offering of products and services that will address market gaps in the underserved and unserved segments. “This includes promoting suitable and affordable financial solutions by leveraging innovative application of technology,” explained BNM.

The central bank had opened up applications for its digital banking licences in January this year, and by February, as many as 40 parties had registered an interest in applying for a digital banking licence. Since then, notable contenders that have gone on to make an actual application include Axiata-RHB Bank, Pertama Digital, Sunway, Grab and BigPay. The state government of Johor and Sarawak, too, have done so.

(Sources: BNM, The Edge Markets)

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