SINGAPORE, June 6 (Xinhua) -- ANEXT Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the global technology provider Ant Group, was launched on Monday in Singapore as the city-state's newest digital wholesale bank.
The soft launch follows ANEXT Bank's receipt of approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on June 2 to commence business, according to a press release from the Singapore-based digital bank.
ANEXT Bank said that it will focus on providing digital financial services to local and regional micro, small and medium enterprises, especially those engaging in cross-border operations for growth and global expansion.
ANEXT Bank CEO Toh Su Mei said it is time to offer the next generation of financial services that are accessible and effortless for growing businesses. Amid rapid acceleration in the digital economy, business models are changing and pivoting to become digital-first, if not adopting a hybrid model. Financial services have to evolve and be where small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are doing their businesses digitally.
"We are well positioned to live up to this vision, leveraging Ant Group's deep bench of technologies and know-how, along with our customer-obsessed local team dedicated to serving the SME community," she said. "Adopting an open and collaborative approach, we believe in joining hands with industry partners and the public sector to provide SMEs with financial services that are simpler, safer and more rewarding."
MAS's Chief Fintech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty said at the event that this marks yet another milestone in Singapore's digital bank development journey, a strategic effort to ensure the banking sector remains progressive, globally competitive and vibrant.
He said that continuous innovation and new capabilities that digital banks are slated to bring will no doubt add more engines of growth to Singapore's financial sector.
"MAS expects the digital banks to thrive and synergize with our dynamic financial institutions and raise the bar in delivering quality financial services, and to uplift Singapore's financial sector to better support the growth of SMEs in Singapore, the region and in emerging markets," Mohanty added.
ANEXT Bank signed a two-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Proxtera, which is an entity supported by MAS, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and private sector entities, to transform and enable holistic cross-border trade among SMEs and businesses through making marketplaces efficient and discoverable globally, with embedded financing, fulfillment services and SME empowerment.
The MoU will see both organizations jointly create and establish an open framework for all participating financial institutions as they provide financing and risk mitigation support for SMEs and platforms in global trades.
ANEXT Bank will also be Proxtera's first participating digital wholesale bank in Singapore to lead the way in providing financing solutions to the buyers and sellers on Proxtera's network.
As part of its soft launch, ANEXT Bank provided a preview of the ANEXT Business Account, a dual-currency deposit account with proprietary security measures including three-factor authentication verification as well as features such as remote onboarding and daily interest. The digital bank said the ANEXT Business Account will be made available to the general SME community from the third quarter of 2022.