Grab-Singtel's GXS Bank rolls out in Singapore, two years after securing digibank licence 

Charles Wong, Singapore CEO, GXS Bank

Grab and Singtel’s GXS Bank launched its digibanking services in Singapore on Wednesday, nearly two years after securing a full digibank licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

GXS Bank’s first financial product is the GXS Savings Account, aimed at Singapore’s “underbanked” population, which is 2 out of every 5 adults, said Charles Wong, Singapore CEO of GXS in a press conference on Wednesday.

These “underbanked” consumers comprise gig economy workers, self-employed entrepreneurs, and new entrants to the workforce who may not have access to the benefits that traditional banks like DBS, UOB or OCBC Bank offer, such as eligibility for credit or insurance.

GXS Bank

GXS’s Savings Account is geared at offering users flexibility and access to cash flow. It offers users a slightly higher interest rate of 0.08% and 1.58% (under the Pockets feature) compared to the industry market rate of 0.05%. There is no minimum account balance or lock-in period.

“GXS is uniquely positioned… we are part of a powerhouse ecosystem that includes Grab and Singtel. Their platforms are used daily by more than three million Singaporeans,” said Wong.

This includes tapping Grab and Singtel’s existing consumer base across their respective e-wallets, GrabPay and Singtel DASH. Wong added that more product features will be rolled out in the coming months without providing specifics.

GXS’s digital app will be available on Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store from September 5.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, Grab and Singtel have also partnered in Malaysia and Indonesia in similar digibank efforts.

In Malaysia, GXS Bank and a consortium of local investors including Kuok Brothers Sdn Bhd won one of Malaysia’s five digibank licences in April. The other winning bids included NYSE-listed Sea Group, Malaysian mobile carrier Axiata’s fintech unit Boost Holdings, and groups led by AEON Financial Service and KAF Investment Bank.

In Indonesia, Grab and Singtel are minority investors in Bank Fama, which is also backed by the Emtek Group. Separately, Grab has also invested in another Indonesian digital lender Bank Allo via a rights issue together with Bukalapak, consumer conglomerates Salim Group and CT Corp, and used car marketplace Carro.

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