The consortium led by Enigma Group today announced that it has applied for a Digital Full Bank license in Singapore.
THE co-applicants include Singapore-based companies, Qrypt Technologies, 2359 Media and Blockchain Worx, along with UK-based Enigma Global Holdings which has agreed to acquire an existing challenger bank to propel both growth and profitability.
The proposed digital bank will focus on the underbanked small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) sector as well as the fast-evolving digital workforce.
According to a study conducted by Google, Temasek and Bain & Company, over 70% of the adult population in South East Asia is either ‘underbanked’ or ‘unbanked’.
Additionally, about 80% of the surveyed SMEs say ‘they need to borrow but lack access to
affordable credit’. However, the region has a high smartphone penetration rate, thus putting digital banks in a sweet spot to gain market share in this large and fast-expanding underbanked segment.
The group will leverage deep expertise across financial services, experience from its multiple existing licensed financial services operations in Europe, along with emerging technologies to create truly next-generation financial products for the target segments.
It will also focus on delivering exceptional digital customer experience that’s fast becoming the norm for virtual banks globally.
Chairman Enigma Global Holdings, Samuel Heng, said “The ability to combine our capabilities to create a sustainable and profitable digital banking business is at
the core of our strategy,” he said.
“Furthermore, 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.”
“We have assembled a consortium that includes firms led by seasoned executives and have a breadth of expertise that spans financial services, technology operations and digital transformation” added Malcolm Tan, Founder of Qrypt Technologies and the Gravitas Group.
“Singapore is a world leader and is famous for being at the forefront of technical advancement for its citizens and as a working environment. And this group, along with their respective partner networks, can create a truly comprehensive, robust and resilient
digital financial services ecosystem in Singapore.”
The Singapore-based Enigma Group has recently signed up to acquire ownership of a UK based challenger-bank together with its various group companies. It is separately also involved in a Swiss Wealth Management business.
The consortium has submitted an application to the Monetary Authority of Singapore for a Digital Full Bank license that would allow it to provide a range of financial services and take deposits from retail and non-retail customers.