Ant Group-backed digital commercial bank offers loans to SMEs

SINGAPORE — Ant Group, the Chinese financial technology giant controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, announced Monday (June 6) the launch of its first digital commercial bank outside Greater China, one of two to be licensed by the Singapore regulator

ANEXT Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of the group, is incorporated in Singapore and received approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on June 2.

The Singapore-based digital bank says it will focus on providing digital financial services to local and regional micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), especially those engaging in cross-border operations for growth and growth. global expansion.

From the third quarter of this year, the general SME community will be able to create an 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 interest.

Managing Director of Digital Banking, Toh Su Mei, said, “We believe it’s time to deliver the next generation of accessible and effortless financial services for growing businesses.

“In a rapidly accelerating digital economy, business models are changing and pivoting to become digital first or even adopt a hybrid model. Financial services must evolve and be where SMEs do their business digitally.”

The digital bank has entered into a two-year agreement with Proxtera – an entity that digitally connects business-to-business marketplaces, service providers and trade associations – to improve cross-border trade between SMEs and businesses. This will be Proxtera’s first participating digital wholesale. bank in Singapore and will provide financing solutions to network buyers and sellers.

Proxtera, launched in 2020 by MAS, Infocomm Media Development Authority and private sector entities, now has 18 progressive platforms in Asia and Africa and up to 400,000 SMEs in the network.

Proxtera CEO Saurav Bhattacharyya said seamless access and availability of trade finance solutions will help amplify business growth and accelerate SME expansion.

Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Financial Technology Officer of MAS, who witnessed the bank’s soft launch, noted that the continuous innovation and new capabilities that digital banks are expected to bring will “undoubtedly add more growth engines to the financial sector. of Singapore”.

ANEXT Bank is one of two digital commercial banks to be licensed by MAS in 2020.

The other is Green Link Digital Bank, backed by the Greenland Group, which targets SMEs and non-retail customers and was launched last Friday.

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