Chinese fintech giant, Ant Group as part of its expansion plans today announced the launch of its digital bank, ANEXT in Singapore. The virtual bank will be centering its services around small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), particularly SMEs that provide international trade.
ANEXT signed an agreement expected to span for 2years with Proxtera. The latter is an organization that bridges the gap between B2B marketplace digitally to aid global trade for SMEs.
According to the agreement, ANEXT together with Proxtera will build an open framework with interested financial institutions. The framework will support SMEs with financing and risk control in global trades.
The partnership with Proxtera makes the digital bank one of the first online financial services firms in Singapore. Offering financing solutions to its users on the Proxtera network. The new offshoot will be led by Chief Executive Tou Su Mei, the former regional head of SME loan product management.
She commented on the new development noting that the rapid development of the digital finance sector has birthed this recent innovation. She added that, by “adopting an open and collaborative approach, we believe in joining hands with industry partners and the public sector to provide SMEs with financial services that are simpler, safer and more rewarding.”
During the soft launch, a demo display of the bank’s product was provided. The account is a “dual-currency deposit account” which is well secured with a “three-factor authentication verification.”
The launched virtual bank is fully backed by Singapore’s financial regulator, MAS. It will be accessible to the SME general public in the third quarter of this year.
Singapore and Digital Innovations
Singapore has been driving innovations in the digital sector for a while now, most especially in blockchain technology.
While the virtual asset ecosystem remains volatile, the country and its financial regulator continue to back investments in digital finance. In April, the parliament of Singapore introduced a bill that will provide licenses to all virtual asset providers in the country.
Last month, the country through its Prime Minister’s office announced that it will be tokenizing financial assets. Its financial regulator, MAS will be a watchdog over the project dubbed Project Guardian.