The UK’s Enigma Group has applied for a digital bank licence with the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the media reports said.
Enigma Group is the fifth to bid for a digital bank licence in Singapore. Others include Grab-Singtel, Shopee parent Sea and the Beyond consortium.
Enigma’s consortium includes Singapore-based companies Qrypt Technologies, 2359 Media and Blockchain Worx. Enigma Global Holdings are also a part of the consortium.
The consortium’s proposed digital bank is focused on the underbanked small and medium enterprises in the city-state. Samuel Heng, chairman of the Enigma consortium, and a director at Enigma Global, said in a statement, “The experience from our financial services operations and footprint in Europe will help us leverage leading-edge technology and best practices from similar mature markets to address digital banking needs back home in Singapore too.”
Applicants for the digital bank licence will need to be Singaporean-controlled. Also, they are expected to have a capital requirement of $100 million, with foreign enterprises allowed to acquire a controlling stake. The winners of Singapore’s digital bank licence will be announced in mid-June.
Last week, the Monetary Authority of Singapore announced that it has received 21 digital bank applications. Of the applications, wholesale licence applicants were 14 and full digital bank licence applicants were seven.
Singapore’s digital wholesale banking licence bid has received applications from Chinese financial and technology majors such as Ant Financial, TikTok-owner ByteDance, and Xiaomi Finance, the media reports said.
Southeast Asia’s digital lending market is anticipated to grow from $23 billion in 2019 to $110 billion by 2025, according to data from Google, Temasek, and Bain.