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KUALA LUMPUR: Central bank governor Datuk Abdul Rasheed Ghaffour foresees a positive impact on Malaysia’s banking landscape with the launch of the country’s first digital bank, Grab-led digital bank GX Bank Bhd.
The governor said the new digital banks will drive efficiency and competitiveness across the banking sector.
“In September, GX Bank was the first digital bank to commence operations and we have four more to come. In terms of the impact, it will be positive to enhance the competition and this will be good for consumers. For the digital banks their focus would be for the unserved and the underserved segments ... the (digital) banks are coming to cater to this market. It will complement all the services and products provided by existing banks,” he said during recent Q3’23 GDP press conference.
He added, “And there are no restrictions for existing incumbent banks to move towards digital. In fact, most of our banks have been moving towards digitalisation and this will further enhance growth in terms of their efficiency, also in terms of their competitiveness.”
GX Bank commenced operation on Sept 1. It rolled out its beta app to selected 20,000 Malaysians users effective Nov 14. This comes after testing the beta app amongst employees of the bank and partners.
GXBank CEO Pei Si Lai said that this is just the beginning of a suite of financial services, products and benefits GXBank has lined up.
“As we continue to test the stability of our app and gather feedback from users, we hope to develop a digital banking experience and app that is uniquely tailored to the financial needs of Malaysians of all generations,” she added.
As a bank built predominantly by Malaysians, she said it is uniquely positioned to understand and develop financial solutions that address the needs and challenges of the everyday Malaysian.
“We are one step closer to our nation’s vision of a financially resilient country where Malaysians can have equitable access to financial products that cater to their individual needs, without the intimation and hassle of elaborate paperwork, processes and jargon,” said Pei Si.
According to the central bank, a licensed digital bank shall operate with an asset limit for a period of up to five years from its commencement of operations (foundational phase).
During the foundational phase, a licensed digital bank shall maintain at all times a minimum amount of capital funds of RM100 million unimpaired by losses and be subject to the business limitation.