SINGAPORE (Dec 31): The large number of Singaporeans still without good access to financial services will be key to creating a successful digital bank in the country, according to executives from Grab Holdings Inc. and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd.

Earlier Monday, Grab and Singtel said they are teaming up to apply for a full digital banking license before the year-end deadline, jumping aboard a Singapore government initiative to attract technology firms into its financial sector to stimulate innovation and competition. The move brings together one of Southeast Asia’s largest operators of online businesses from food delivery to car-hailing with Singapore’s largest telecommunications firm.

While Singapore is better banked than other Southeast Asian countries, there’s still a significant minority of small- and mid-sized companies and individuals seeking cheaper and improved services, the two companies said in a joint interview.

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