China’s e-commerce group Zall joins the digital bank licence race in Singapore

Chinese B2B e-commerce company Zall Smart Commerce Group has announced that it has formed a consortium with Japanese trading company Marubeni and Singapore-based CrimsonLogic‘s unit Global eTrade Services to apply for a wholesale banking in the city-state.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Zall seeks to contribute to Singapore's development as a global financial hub for trading activities.

Started in 2017, Zall runs a virtual bank called Z-Bank in China.

Zall-led consortium is the latest to join the for a bank licence in Singapore. Another notable Chinese company to have joined the race is Jack Ma's Ant Financial, which aims to obtain the licence to serve corporate clients.

Earlier this month, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced that it had received 14 applications for a digital wholesale bank licence and seven for a digital full-bank licence.

Singapura Finance is also in the race which has partnered with MatchMove Pay for a full-bank digital licence.

Late last year, Enigma Group, a financial services company that specialises in analytical recruitment and executive search in the US, Middle East, and the Asia Pacific, also announced that it formed a consortium comprising Singapore-based Qrypt Technologies, 2359 Media and Blockchain Worx to apply for a digital bank licence.

The race sprinted after Grab became one of the first companies in putting a bid for the licence back in December 2019. It applied for a digital full bank licence in Singapore with Singtel, the communications technology group.

Singapore-based digital payment startup Razer Fintech (Razer) also announced that it has submitted an application for the digital full bank license.

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