Singapore’s first digital bank opens a store

The first of four planned digital banks in Singapore has opened.

Green Link Digital Bank (GLDB), which received one of Singapore’s two wholesale digital banking licenses, has begun operations, the company announced in a press release on Friday. The bank said it was targeting commercial banks for micro-small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) with supply chain finance and technology services.

On its website, GLDB said its services include unsecured business term loans and a digital token. GLDB representatives did not immediately respond to‘s request for comment on how potential customers are accessing the bank’s services and whether the launch includes a mobile app. A quick search of Apple’s App Store didn’t immediately yield any results.

Application of technologies

Song QunVice Chairman of GLDB, said the bank aims to use its experience serving MSMEs in Singapore to become the leading provider of supply chain finance technology services.

“We will continue to explore the application of advanced technologies such as AI, blockchain, cloud computing and big data (ABCD) in supply chain finance, integrating environmental, social and governance factors ( ESG) in our product development and growth strategies, and create a benchmark in digital banking, contribute to the Singapore market and achieve sustainable growth,” Song said in the statement.

In December 2020, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) awarded four digital banking licenses.

A consortium including Grab and Singtel, and an entity wholly owned by Sea were awarded full digital banking (DFB) licenses, while the winners of the wholesale banking licenses were a consortium including Greenland Financial Holdings, Linklogis Hong Kong and Beijing Co. -operative Equity Investment Fund Management, and a wholly owned entity of Ant Group.

Slow launches

In Singapore, comprehensive digital banks are permitted to accept deposits from retail customers, while wholesale digital banks can serve the monetary needs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The MAS originally expected operations in digital banks to begin early this year. The Grab-Singtel consortium, called GXS Bank, is aiming for a launch in the second half of this year.

Greenland Financial Holdings is a subsidiary of Chinese property developer Greenland Group. On its LinkedIn profile, Greenland Group said it is one of Shanghai’s biggest state-owned companies, adding that it has construction plans in 65 mainland cities. In late May, Greenland Group requested a repayment deferral for holders of a $488 million note due at the end of June, indicating signs of financial stress, according to a “Bloomberg” report.

Daniel C. Williams