The bank will support local and regional micro, small and medium-sized enterprises, especially for cross-border growth/expansion operations

Following the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s go-ahead on 2 June 2022, a digital wholesale bank—has launched in the country on 6 June.

Incorporated in Singapore and a wholly-owned subsidiary of China’s Ant Group, ANEXT Bank is expected to transform and enable holistic cross-border trade among micro, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) and businesses through initiatives to make marketplaces efficient and discoverable globally, via embedded financing, fulfillment services and SME empowerment.

Commented the digital bank’s CEO, Toh Su Mei: “We believe it’s 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 SMEs are doing their businesses digitally.”

As part of its soft launch, the digital bank has previewed a dual-currency deposit account with proprietary security measures including three-factor authentication as well as features such as remote onboarding and daily interest. The product will be made available to the general SME community in Singapore from Q3 2022.

In its two-year memorandum of understanding with Proxtera—an entity supported by MAS, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and private sector entities—ANEXT Bank is expected to create an open framework for all participating financial institutions in providing financing and risk mitigation support for SMEs and platforms in global trades.

According to MAS’ Chief Fintech Officer Sopnendu Mohanty: “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.”