Infopro joins Pertama Digital’s consortium to bid for Malaysia digital bank licence

Saloman Link, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo: AMAR SYAZWAN ROSMAN/unsplash

Malaysian company Pertama Digital Bhd announced on Tuesday that it has onboarded Infopro Sdn Bhd, a banking-as-a-service (BaaS) provider, to its consortium that is applying for a digital banking licence from the country’s central bank.

Both parties are finalising the signing of consortium agreements, according to a statement.

“Pertama Digital identified Infopro as the best core banking system provider for Malaysian digital banks because, in addition to offering cutting edge technology, they are closely in touch with our local landscape — from the underserved customers we are targeting to the regulatory environment, including a full suite of Islamic banking modules for our bank,” said Pertama Digital’s director of strategy Saify Akhtar, who leads the company’s digital banking initiative.

Established in Malaysia in 1987, Infopro is a homegrown banking software firm serving more than 100 banks across 32 countries, a vast majority of which is located in Southeast Asia and Africa. Infopro boasts a long list of local and international certifications and awards, including being the only Malaysian company to achieve the highest level of Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) certification, which helps organisations streamline process improvement and decrease risks in software, product and service development.

The announcement also came after Reuters reported on Monday that Malaysian telecom firm Axiata Group Bhd has teamed up with RHB Bank Bhd to apply for a digital bank licence, quoting two sources familiar with the matter.

Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara, has called for digital bank applications by June 30 and said it may issue up to five licences for online-only banks. 

Infopro’s chief digital officer Chong Eng Kok said, “After considering the digital banking business plan by Pertama Digital, we identified that this consortium is uniquely positioned to deliver the financial inclusion objectives set out in Bank Negara Malaysia’s licensing framework for digital banks.”

Both Saify and Infopro founder Chuah Wan Pin confirmed that the two parties are finalising the signing of consortium agreements.

On May 24, Pertama Digital had announced Crowdo as a consortium partner for applying for a digital bank licence. Crowdo is an SME-focused neobank with an AI-powered credit scoring engine specialised for emerging markets in Asean.

Pertama Digital, listed on the main market of Bursa Malaysia, received shareholder approval on August 21, 2020 for its pivot from the textile business to the technology sector.

Through an investment in homegrown govtech company, DAPAT Vista (M) Sdn Bhd, Pertama Digital is capitalising on global digital acceleration trends and recently increased uptake in the group’s innovative digital solutions such as MyPay and eJamin.

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Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.