5 Digital Banking Licenses Approved By BNM, Says Deputy Finance Minister

Deputy Minister of Finance, Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan said the applicants went through assessments before they were given the green light.
(credit: Yusof Mat Isa / Malay Mail)

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Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) granted five digital banking licenses out of 29 applications, with two of them involving overseas companies said Deputy Minister of Finance, Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan.

He said in Dewan Rakyat the license grants were given after going through a thorough assessment in accordance with the Financial Services Act 2013 (Act 758) and for digital Islamic bank license applicants, it was in accordance with the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013 (Act 759).

Of the five recipients of the license until 29 April 2024, only one has just placed it on the application platform, while the other four have not yet been placed on the digital platform and are still being prepared. In evaluating all applications, BNM takes into account the factors in Schedule 5 of the relevant act and other related policy requirements. The main consideration in the evaluation of all digital bank licenses is the ability of digital banks to operate safely.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan

Maslan said this in response to a question from R Yuneswaran (PH-Segamat) who asked the Minister of Finance to state that the digital banking license approval granted to GXBank, operated by Grab was carefully evaluated.

At the same time, answering Yuneswaran’s additional question regarding the security of users’ personal data, Ahmad said that they have the option to use digital bank services from within the country if there are concerns regarding that aspect.

When we agree to open an account in a bank, then of course there are some things signed in terms of contracts and so on. In Malaysia, out of 26 banks that operate, only eight are owned in the country while the other 18 are from abroad. So if we express concerns about data and so on being owned by foreign parties, then out of the five bank digital licenses, two are owned by foreigners including GXBank and Aeon Digital Bank. However, there are three other digital bank options that are owned in the country.

Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan

He was quoted by Berita Harian saying that digital banks are expected to further increase financial inclusion to segments that do not have access to financial services.

Ahmad Maslan also said that through the comprehensive use of technology, digital banks can provide more opportunities for the community to participate in economic activities by overcoming geographical barriers, reducing transaction costs and encouraging better financial management.

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