ANEXT Bank - Enabling Borderless Possibilities

An Interview with Toh Su Mei, CEO, ANEXT Bank

Financial IT: Tell us more about ANEXT Bank and its mission.

Toh Su Mei: ANEXT Bank is Singapore’s newest, locally-born digital wholesale bank. We are on a mission to provide secure and innovative digital financial services to the previously unserved and underserved regional and local micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.

Amid the accelerated development of the digital economy in the region, business models are rapidly evolving to becoming hybrid and digital-first. So should financial services. Financial services have to evolve and be where SMEs are doing their businesses digitally. This is what ANEXT Bank has set out to achieve.

Singapore’s strategic position as the regional and global hub for trade and fintech innovation makes it one of the best locations to operate a digital bank catering to local and regional SMEs. Leveraging Ant Group’s deep bench of technologies and know-how, along with our customer-obsessed local team dedicated to serving the SME community, ANEXT Bank is best positioned to live up to our vision of offering the next generation of financial services that are accessible and effortless for growing businesses.  

Financial IT: What is ANEXT Bank offering and how does the company stand out in an existing market?

Toh Su Mei: SMEs account for most businesses worldwide and are incredibly important to economic development and job creation. However, access to finance is the one of the most cited obstacles for SMEs to grow.

What makes ANEXT Bank different is our approach to innovation: open and customer-obsessed. This strategy will allow us to innovate fast and innovate right.

Being open means that we are committed to building a truly open ecosystem, working with financial institutions and industry partners to drive industrial transformation and even more value for these businesses. For example, we are the first participating digital wholesale bank in Singapore to provide financing solutions to buyers and sellers on the Proxtera network. Proxtera is an entity supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore that empowers B2B eCommerce platforms with broader access to global trade and innovative digital solutions.

We are also customer-obsessed. For example, we are the first bank in Singapore to offer remote virtual onboarding for business owners who are based overseas but have a registered business in Singapore. With this feature, business owners do not have to travel to Singapore to open an account. This allows them to save a lot of time, expense and hassle. We also conduct regular focus group sessions with SMEs and potential customers to hear their pain points and for them to share feedback with us.

Finally, being part of Ant Group gives us the backing of a company that has a long-established history in serving small businesses through technology. MYbank, operated by Ant Group, is one of the first private banks piloted in China and the first online bank with no physical branches. Since its establishment over 6 years ago, MYBank has provided credit services to over 40 million SMEs in China.

Financial IT: What are the upcoming milestones for ANEXT Bank?

Toh Su Mei: At our soft launch in early June, we provided a preview of the ANEXT Business Account, a dual-currency deposit account with proprietary security measures including three-factor authentication verification as well as features such as remote onboarding and daily interest. This product will be made available to the general SME community from Q3 2022. Overall though, through continuous technology-driven innovation, we are dedicated to accelerating financial inclusion in the region, while contributing to harnessing Singapore’s leading position as a global trade and fintech hub.

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