Gaming company Razer applies to be a digital full bank

Razer said that its fintech arm will build Razer Youth Bank if it receives approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Razer said that its fintech arm will build Razer Youth Bank if it receives approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. PHOTO: FACEBOOK/RAZER

SINGAPORE - Gaming company Razer has submitted an application to secure a digital full bank licence, the news coming just days after telco Singtel and technology company Grab announced that they had applied for a licence together.

Razer said in a statement on Thursday (Jan 2) that its fintech arm will build Razer Youth Bank if it receives approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

The application was submitted before Dec 31 last year, the last day for firms to apply for a digital full bank licence.

The MAS had said in June last year that it will issue up to five new digital bank licences for both full and wholesale banks to players who may not have an established record in banking.

Wholesale banks serve primarily companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises.

Razer's endeavour into the banking sector is via a consortium comprising Sheng Siong Holdings, technology company LinkSure Global, automotive marketplace Carro, insurance services firm FWD and Insignia Ventures Partners.

Razer, which will own 60 per cent of the consortium, said that its digital bank will be headquartered in Singapore, and the target audience will be millennials and youth.

It will also target budding entrepreneurs, as well as small- and micro-enterprises that find it hard to access capital.

Having a digital full bank licence will allow the consortium to take money from retail customers as well as extend loans.

 
 
 
 

Razer Fintech chief executive Lee Li Meng said that Razer has spent the past year appointing a board of advisers and forming partnerships in preparation for the application to be a digital full bank.

Mr Lee, who is also Razer's chief strategy officer, said: "Addressing the unmet financial needs of the large, yet underserved, segment of the population through an innovative digital-first banking platform is a natural extension of our payments business."

Razer said that it will be working with a host of companies including travel company SkyScanner and payments company Visa to develop its digital bank products.

The gaming company already has an e-wallet called Razer Pay in Malaysia.

The Business Times had reported on Dec 30 that a separate consortium comprising OCBC Bank, Keppel Corporation and Validus Capital fell through.

Other companies that have indicated interest in applying for a digital bank licence but have yet confirmed their application include Standard Chartered Bank, V3 Group and NTUC Enterprise.