CNBC – Singapore tech giant Sea Group has launched its digital banking services to select members of the public.
“We are rolling out our services progressively on an invite-only basis,” MariBank said on its new website that was launched on Tuesday.
It is the latest online lender to join a slew of others in Singapore since the city-state issued four digital bank licenses in December 2020.
MariBank has been rolling out its services progressively the third quarter of 2022, and was previously only available to employees of Sea Group.
The bank currently only offers a savings account that earn depositors an annual interest rate of 2.5% — no minimum deposit is required and no minimum spending amount or salary credit is needed.
Its rival, Grab–Singtel’s GXS Bank, is also offering only a single product — a savings account at 3.48% per annum — to customers and employees by invite only.
Digital full bank licenses were given to GXS Bank and MariBank, which serve retail and non-retail customers. Ant Group’s ANEXT Bank and Green Link Digital Bank secured digital wholesale bank licenses to serve small-and-medium companies and other non-retail segments.
Digital banks in Singapore are still finding their footing in a largely banked nation, where only 2% do not have bank accounts.
The launch of MariBank comes after Sea Group announced its first quarterly net profit last week, helped by cost-cutting measures such as reducing headcount and marketing expenses.
Days later, the Indonesian arm of Sea Group’s e-commerce arm Shopee reportedly laid off hundreds of employees full-time and contract workers.
Sea had already slashed more than 7,000 jobs last year in a bid to cut costs, according to media reports.
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