Singapore receives 21 digital banking licence applications, including Ant Financial

The Monetary Authority of Singapore said on Tuesday that it had received 21 digital banking license applications, including 7 retail license applications and 14 wholesale banking license applications. This is Singapore's largest banking liberalization in two decades, and aims to make it possible for online banks that can operate at lower costs and provide different services than existing ones. Applicants include Ant Financial, a subsidiary of the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group, a joint venture between Singapore Telecom and ride-hailing software giant Grab, and many local companies in Singapore.