Singapore firm Razer reveals overseas digital bank plans
Razer Fintech, the Singapore-based firm still waiting on a full digital bank licence in its home market, has revealed plans to launch a digital banking platform overseas.
The firm – which is the financial arm of gaming giant Razer – has done phenomenally well during COVID-19. Lockdowns have pushed people towards home-based activities – namely gaming.
Its revenue for the first half of 2020 grew 25% from the same period last year, reaching $447 million.
Which markets is Razer looking at?
As well as mulling prospective markets in Southeast Asia, Razer is also looking further afield. Its fintech chief executive, Lee Li Meng, says India and Latin America are also on the cards.
The firm’s e-payment system – Razer Pay – is already in operation across Singapore and Malaysia. The firm is also in the process of securing a digital bank licence in both nations.
Both Singapore and Malaysia only have a finite number of licences. Whilst Singapore is only offering two full licences, Malaysia is offering five, specifying the inclusion of Islamic banking offerings.
“We have demonstrated to the Monetary Authority of Singapore that we will invest and commit to growing the pie here,” Meng said at a briefing reported by Straits Times.
“But with a digital bank, being more nimble, we want to build a global business and leverage the Razer Inc side of things as they grow alongside [the fintech business]”.
Confident it can overcome regulatory hurdles
Meng, who doubles up as Razer’s chief strategy officer, says that the firm is well-positioned to meet strict banking regulations.
“We are already prepared from that [regulatory] perspective to put the right processes in place,” Meng says.
“So that if we get the digital banking licence, we should be able to pivot very quickly from just being a digital payments business to running a digital banking platform.”
The Hong Kong-listed company has managed to narrow its net losses of to $17.7 million in the six months to 30 June 2020. That’s a 62.9% improvement from a net loss of $47.7 million in the same period last year.
Razer’s banking play is through a consortium. This includes Sheng Siong Holdings, tech firm LinkSure Global, automotive marketplace Carro, insurer FWD and Insignia Ventures Partners.
But Razer is the biggest player, owning a majority 60% of the consortium.