GXBank is the much-anticipated digital bank backed by Grab. And it kicks off with the boost of being the first of the five digital bank applicants in Malaysia to receive regulatory approval to commence operations. Specifically, it has met the operational readiness review deadline of April 2024 set by Bank Negara Malaysia. GXBank plans to begin operations effective 1 September.

GXBank says that it will leverage technology and innovation to serve the needs of the unserved and underserved individuals. It will also target micro and small medium enterprises (MSME). The digital-only bank will serve customers’ needs through various channels including an app and 24/7 customer support via multiple platforms.

GXBank says that since the pandemic, 55% of Malaysians’ household income has decreased dramatically. It says that almost 50% now claim to have difficulty raising at least MYR1,000 ($215) as emergency funds.

‘Positive transformation for the financial industry’

“At GXBank, we are driven by our shared purpose and passion to bring positive transformation to the financial industry. That starts with solutions to address the financial struggles of Malaysians and businesses. We are thankful for BNM’s guidance, support and trust in us. That is, to offer financial solutions helping the unserved and underserved communities achieve their dreams and better quality of life. With Grab’s legacy of innovative tech and economic inclusion, we hope to redefine banking and reshape Malaysia’s financial landscape. Our collaboration with consortium partners such as Kuok Group and other industry players will enable us to work hand in hand, leveraging our respective ecosystems to nurture a resilient and financially inclusive Malaysia, where no one is left behind,” said Pei Si Lai, CEO, GX Bank Berhad. 

With the commencement of operations, the bank will begin beta-testing its app. This will start with employees from GXBank, Grab and Kuok Group. It then plans to progressively roll out to a wider pool of users. This will enable GXBank to receive continuous feedback and refine the user experience before launching to the broader public.

GXBank is a subsidiary of a digital bank joint venture between Grab and Singapore Telecommunications. Other Malaysian investors include Kuok Group.