The race is on for successful awardees of the digital banking licences in Singapore to begin operations in early-2022, with incumbent banks safe for now, say analysts. 

As two of the largest names among the three brands involved in becoming digital full banks, Singtel and Sea will go head-to-head in the coming year as they prepare for the launch of their respective digital banking units.

However, Singtel offers a proxy to digital banking expansion together with improving volumes and margins from rising average revenue per user (ARPUs) and 5G, notes Maybank analyst Thilan Wickramasinghe. “We believe access to deep & quality data, synergies from already established ecosystems plus financial strength of the parents seem to have been the critical selection criteria for the four winners of the digital banking (DB) licenses.”

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