Gaming firm Razer joins Singapore digital bank race

Gaming firm Razer joins Singapore digital bank race

Singapore gaming firm Razer said on Thursday (Jan 2) that it is leading a consortium of companies that has applied for a digital full banking licence in Singapore, joining the race to shake up the city's financial sector. Michelle Teo reports.

SINGAPORE: Singapore gaming firm Razer said on Thursday (Jan 2) that it is leading a consortium of companies that has applied for a digital full banking licence in Singapore, joining the race to shake up the city's financial sector.

Razer's fintech business will have a 60 per cent stake in the consortium that includes insurance firm FWD and Sheng Siong Holdings.

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Razer Fintech said its bid to set up the world’s first global youth bank - Razer Youth Bank - will leverage "on the strength of Razer as a lifestyle brand synonymous with the youth and millennials, Razer's global presence and the innovative digital payments platform Razer Fintech has built".

Others in the consortium include venture firm Insignia Ventures Partners, mobile internet company LinkSure Global and vehicle marketplace Carro.

"Razer Youth Bank plans to create the financial well-being companion for the youth that empowers financial literacy, provides fair and transparent product offerings, creates a hyper-personalised banking experience that is fun and engaging and embraces the digital economy in transition to a cashless society," the company said in a press release.

"As part of its offerings, Razer Youth Bank intends to also serve the needs of budding entrepreneurs and small and micro enterprises which have had challenges to gain access to capital to fund growth and digital transformation strategies through innovative structures and credit scoring methodologies," it said.

Razer Youth Bank will be headquartered in Singapore.

Earlier this week, Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel) said it was teaming up with Southeast Asian ride-hailing firm Grab to bid for a digital full banking licence.

Grab will own 60 per cent and Singtel the remainder.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is set to issue up to two digital full bank and three wholesale bank licences.

Digital full banks can accept deposits from and offer services to both retail and non-retail customers but must be led by a Singapore-based company. Wholesale banks will mostly serve small and mid-sized enterprises.

Interested parties had until Dec 31 to submit their applications, with MAS expected to announce the successful applicants in mid-2020. These applicants will then be expected to commence business by mid-2021.

The entry of new players could lead to the biggest shake-up in two decades in a market dominated by local banks DBS Group, Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp and United Overseas Bank.

Source: Reuters/CNA/aj

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