AirAsia subsidiary BigPay bids for Malaysian banking licence
The e-wallet subsidiary of AirAsia, BigPay, has partnered with a handful of firms in a bid to gain a Malaysian digital banking licence.
BigPay is working with Ikhlas Capital Master Fund, Malaysian Industrial Development Finance (MIDF), and an unnamed “foreign conglomerate”.
AirAsia has filed an application with the Central Bank of Malaysia. Through its new licence, BigPay aims to provide individuals and micro businesses with “full-fledged” financial services.
The e-wallet says over the years it has successfully added “a number” of regulated financial products to its existing offerings.
These include international remittances, micro insurance, and budgeting. It plans to launch credit, savings, and freelancer-focused services.
“Financial inclusion has been a core vision and mission of BigPay since its inception in 2017,” says BigPay CEO, Salim Dhanani.
“Being granted a digital banking licence would allow us to provide individuals, freelancers, and [micro SMEs] with full-fledged financial services designed with the same ethos.”
Aireen Omar, president of AirAsia Digital, says her firm has a “broad ecosystem” of business and individual consumers.
She adds: “BigPay will have access to distribute financial services to this ecosystem, adding overall value to everyone within it.”
The Central Bank of Malaysia revealed last week it has received 29 digital banking licence applications.
Among the hopefuls are existing lenders, conglomerates, technology firms, cooperatives, and even state governments. The central bank plans to issue up to five licences in the first quarter of 2022.