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Axiata in talks with 11 parties for digital banking licence in Malaysia

Axiata digital banking
The digital bank could go online by mid-2021

Malaysian telecom company Axiata Group is in talks with 11 different parties to form a partnership and apply for a digital banking licence in the country, according to the company’s deputy chief executive Mohd Izzaddin Idris.

While speaking at a media briefing in Kuala Lumpur, he said companies that Axiata is in talks with for the digital banking partnership include banks and fintech startups, both domestic and international.

He further revealed that the digital bank could go online in mid-2021.

Mohd Izzaddin Idris said, “The exposure draft for digital banking regulations came out in December and we’ve provided our comments and have been engaging with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). So, hopefully, we can form the partnership that’s needed to make the submission in due course.”

What is important in this particular arrangement is the discipline that each party brings to the table. For example, we are very proficient with the ewallet, micro-lending and algorithmic lending, so those are the things, skillsets we bring to the table.”

Besides Axiata, other players who will also apply for the digital banking licence in Malaysia include ride-hailing startup Grab, gaming company Razer and CIMB bank.

Earlier in December 2019, Bank Negara Malaysia announced its plan to issue up to five digital bank licences.

Recently, Axiata Group announced a capital expenditure of RM6.6 billion for the year ending December 31, 2020. According to Axiata’s chief financial officer Vivek Sood, a major part of the fund would be used to expand its network in the Indonesian and Bangladesh market.

Axiata is also preparing to list its infrastructure company edotco at Bursa Malaysia and seek a valuation of around $2.5 billion.

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