InstaReM Eyes Singapore Digital Banking License


While it gears up to apply for a digital banking license in Singapore, cross-border payments firm InstaReM is reportedly seeking lending business partners. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) recently noted that it will grant as many as three digital wholesale bank licenses and up to two digital full-bank licenses, Deal Street Asia reported.

Chief Executive Officer Prajit Nanu said, according to reports, “InstaReM already provides services similar to transaction banking in a bank so this would be a natural extension for us.” Nanu continued per reports, “One key aspect where we have limited ability is lending and we will be looking to partner to create the lending experience in the same technology stack.”

Grab, Razer and Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. have all expressed an interest as of the announcement from MAS. However, InstaReM is reportedly the first firm to indicate that it will apply for a license. At the same time, it was noted that Ant Financial is “delighted” with the plan of Singapore.

InstaReM, which was started in 2014, is regulated in Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, India, Malaysia, the U.S. and the European Union. It processes billions of dollars a year for payments institutions, retail users and banks worldwide. The startup is backed by investors such as Rocket Internet, MDI Ventures, Fullerton Financial Holdings and Vertex Ventures.

In separate InstaReM news, the Singapore FinTech firm notched $41 million in venture funding per reports in March. Proceeds from the funding round are slated for expansion into Latin America. (The company plans to open an office there). At the same time, it was noted that the funds will also go to expand in Asia by going after Indonesia as well as Japan.

It was also noted per earlier reports that the company is also nearing the launch of a prepaid debit card that it plans to issue to consumers in 25 countries. InstaReM also wants to offer banking customers more options as well with the funding.