ANEXT Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alibaba-owned financial services provider Ant Group, on Monday officially opened in Singapore. The bank focuses on serving small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) registered in Singapore and Southeast Asia – especially those engaged in cross-border trade – and provides them with a variety of digital financial services.
On the opening day, ANEXT Bank announced it has signed a memorandum of cooperation with Proxtera, a Singaporean SME service organization. Proxtera is a network platform jointly sponsored by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), aiming at reducing friction in cross-border trade and promoting more SMEs to participate in global trade. Currently, there are 400,000 SMEs in Asia and Africa using Proxtera. In the future, ANEXT Bank will strive to take the lead in providing financial services for buyers and sellers on Proxtera.
Upon opening, ANEXT Bank launched its first product ANEXT Business Account. This is a digital bank deposit account for SMEs. The product marks a new innovation in Singapore that can provide remote account opening service for non-local companies, which will greatly facilitate SMEs in the region.
For Ant Group, the establishment of digital banking in Singapore is a key step to upgrade its international business in Southeast Asia. In 2020, Ant Group was the first to launch Alipay+, a global cross-border mobile payment and marketing solution that helps millions of merchants, both online and offline, to connect with one billion Asian consumers through technology. WorldFirst, another international business of Ant Group, focuses on serving SMEs worldwide to “sell worldwide with one account.”
ANEXT Bank is one of the first approved digital banks in Singapore. Sopnendu Mohanty, Chief Fintech Officer of MAS, said: “Digital banking brings new services and features that can activate the competitiveness and innovation of Singapore’s banking sector. We expect digital banking to flourish alongside existing banks and provide and raise the standard of quality financial services, helping Singapore’s financial sector to better support regional growth.”