Grab and Singtel will bid for a digital-banking licence in Singapore

IN 2014 SINGTEL, a Singaporean telecoms group, teamed up with Standard Chartered, an Asia-focused bank, to create Dash, a mobile-money unit it claimed would revolutionise mobile commerce and banking. But red tape meant it went nowhere fast. It refocused on mobile payments, but still struggled. Insiders liked to quip, says one, that the only place that accepted Dash was Singtels canteen.Singtels banking ambitions are no longer a joke. On December 30th it said it was tying up with Grab, a car-hailing firm, to bid for a digital-banking licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Together, the two firms are well-placed to benefit from one of the city states biggest financial reforms in two decadesand perhaps, to shake up banking across South-East Asia, a market of 655m.
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