Singapore's digibank aspirants may find the going tough

(Clockwise from top left) Grab, Singtel, Razer, Sea, Beyond and Ant Financial.
(Clockwise from top left) Grab, Singtel, Razer, Sea, Beyond and Ant Financial.PHOTOS: ST FILE, NG SOR LUAN, RAZER/FACEBOOK, BEYOND CONSORTIUM, ANT FINANCIAL SERVICES GROUP/FACEBOOK, SEA LIMITED

The rush for a digital banking presence here has so far attracted 21 bids for five licences on offer, but those who get the licences may find the going rather tough.

Mr Cyrus Daruwala, managing director at IDC Financial Insights Asia-Pacific, reckons the cost of attracting new clients, capital and technology, and regulatory requirements will pose significant challenges. Adding to this will be the strength and dominance of bricks-and-mortar incumbents.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 13, 2020, with the headline 'Singapore's digibank aspirants may find the going tough'. Print Edition | Subscribe