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Grab and Singtel’s digital bank gets approval from Bank Negara Malaysia to begin operations

SINGAPORE – GX Bank Berhad (GXBank) on Tuesday announced that it is the first of the five digital bank licence applicants to obtain approval to commence operations in Malaysia.

GXBank is a subsidiary of GXS Bank – the digital bank joint venture between Grab and Singapore Telecommunications (Singtel), as well as a consortium of Malaysian investors including Kuok Group.

GXBank has gotten approval from the Minister of Finance and Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) ahead of the April 2024 deadline set by BNM, a press statement said. The bank has also successfully completed an operational readiness review, and has been approved to commence operations from Sep 1.

The bank is looking to leverage technology and innovation to serve the needs of unserved and underserved individuals, as well as micro and small, medium enterprises.

The digital-only bank will support customers’ needs through various channels including a bank app and 24/7 customer support via multiple platforms.

With the commencement of operations, GXBank will begin beta-testing its app – starting with the employees of GXBank, Grab and Kuok Group. 

The lender will then progressively roll its services out to a wider pool of users, which will enable it to continuously receive feedback and refine the user experience before launching to the broader public.

GXBank’s chief executive Lai Pei Si said: “Standing on Grab’s legacy of innovative tech and economic inclusion, we hope to redefine banking and reshape Malaysia’s financial landscape. 

“Our collaboration with consortium partners such as Kuok Group and other industry players will enable us to work hand in hand, leveraging our respective ecosystems to nurture a resilient and financially inclusive Malaysia.”

GXBank also has a new board of directors, spearheaded by Zaiton Mohd Hassan. GXBank said she brings more than 30 years of experience in banking, audit, risk management and a focus on governance and financial inclusion. THE BUSINESS TIMES

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