It has been two months since ANEXT, Chinese conglomerate Ant Group’s digital bank, ‘soft-launched’ in Singapore. During the time, it has begun onboarding clients, offering them perks such as dual-currency accounts with daily interest. However, what ANEXT hasn’t done is something that makes banks their most money—loans. That’s why it was called a soft launch. It hasn’t shared the number of customers that have opened ANEXT accounts either.
It’s somewhat an anticlimactic outcome to Singapore’s digital banking race, given the fanfare with which the city-state initially kickstarted it three years ago. The opening shot was fired in June 2019, when Singapore’s financial services regulator, MAS, announced it would issue five digital bank licences.