Malaysia’s biggest telco, Axiata, is set to bid for a banking licence, as the country looks to open up its financial sector, according to a report by Reuters.
The article states that Axiata’s deputy chief executive, Mohd Izzaddin Idris, has confirmed that the company is in discussions with eleven financial services firms who would potentially partner with Axiata, in the event that it won a banking licence. The firms include companies that specialise in mobile wallet services and established banks, although Idris did not confirm the exact identity of the companies.
Malaysia’s central bank is set to issue five banking licences over the course of 2020.
Axiata has around 9 million subscribers in Malaysia, through its subsidiary brand Celcom. The wider Axiata Group has over 150 million subscribers, spread across Asia. If successful in Malaysia, Axiata could look to start offering financial services across its portfolio of subsidiaries in Asia, including Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Cambodia, India and Sri Lanka.
Telcos are increasingly looking to bolster their service offering and broaden their product portfolio away from traditional telecoms services.
In Africa and Europe, Orange Group, has successfully launched banking services and also provides micro finance solutions in a number of markets.