Kenanga Investment Bank Collaborates with Ant Group to Launch Crypto-based Applications
Kenanga Investment Bank Berhad, a major investment bank in Malaysia, on Wednesday announced its plans to launch a crypto-friendly wallet and trading application. Reportedly, it is planning to launch the app in early 2023.
Kenanga said it has partnered with China's tech giant Ant Group to enable the launch of Malaysia's first "SuperApp," which will include crypto trading, e-wallets and portfolio management.
Ant Group is a major China-based fintech firm that develops online payment platforms – it is the company that owns the world's largest mobile payment platform Alipay.
Kenanga has signed an MOU (memorandum of understanding) with Ant to jointly create Malaysia's wealth application known as a super app.
Based on the terms of the deal, Ant's digital technology unit will provide Kenanga with mPaaS, a mobile development platform originating from AliPay App.
The super app is designed to revolutionize how consumers manage wealth in Malaysia by integrating diverse financial services like a digital wallet, stock trading, crypto trading, foreign currency exchange, digital investment management, and others into a single platform accessible to users online.
Kenanga is reportedly planning to launch the app in early 2023.
Datuk Chay Wai Leong, Kenanga Group managing director, talked about the development: "We look forward to not only unifying a broad spectrum of financial offerings under one roof. But more importantly, to make wealth creation more accessible by democratizing financial services for the millions of Malaysians."
Leong said Kenanga began experimenting with digital financial services five years ago. Launching the new application would therefore bring the company's growth to the next level.
Kenanga has been an active player in the crypto industry. In February last year, the bank invested in digital asset exchange (DAX) operator Tokenize Technology M (Tokenize Malaysia) to accelerate the buyers' digital agenda. Tokenize Malaysia operates Tokenize Xchange, which allows trading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.
In April 2016, Kenanga partnered with the crypto-friendly Japanese retailer Rakuten and therefore launched Malaysia's local online stock trading platform Rakuten Trade which currently allows customers to invest in Malaysia stocks.
Promoting Financial Inclusion
Over the past year, cryptocurrency adoption in Malaysia has significantly grown, with about RM21 billion (USD$4.68 billion) in digital assets traded in the country in 2021. According to the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), the agency responsible for oversight and regulation of the Malaysian financial services industry.
Although 55% of the country's adult population is still underbanked and unbanked, 18% of adult Malaysians own cryptocurrencies, ahead of the global ownership average.
It is not hard to see the popularity of digital assets, especially among the more tech-savvy. Digital currencies provide the financially underserved with access to the financial and credit services they need.
This explains the reason why major local banks like Kenanga are moving into cryptocurrency trading as part of default banking offerings.
With the mobile app, Kenanga is set to enable consumers to easily start crypto and other investment trading in a real-time and borderless manner via the super mobile app.
Such ease-of-use combined with the promise of massive gains, more equitable distribution of assets, and the low fees involved in opening and trading such investment assets, is very appealing.
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