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Digital bank software provider Backbase opens regional HQ in Singapore

NETHERLANDS-BASED digital banking software provider Backbase has opened its Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore, it said on Tuesday.

It is seeking to strengthen its regional footprint and ensure greater proximity to clients and businesses in the Asia-Pacific.

The firm said there is a rising demand for fintech solutions in the region underpinned by the rapid adoption of technology, as well as a segment of consumers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) underserved by traditional banking solutions.

"These factors, coupled with the economic potential of the region, sets a strong foundation for financial institutions to adopt a digital-first approach in providing customised services," it added.

Founded in 2003, Backbase has worked with global banks such as Citibank, HSBC, Barclays and Goldman Sachs.

It recently launched Backbase-as-a-Service, a managed cloud platform service that covers Backbase's portfolio of banking products.

"Digital disruption is occurring at every level in the banking industry. Banks and neo-banks must now think in new and innovative ways, or risk becoming a mere back-office utility," said Jouk Pleiter, chief executive officer of Backbase.

In a bid to liberalise the banking industry, the Monetary Authority of Singapore had announced last year that it would issue up to two digital full bank licences that allow access to retail deposits, and up to three digital wholesale bank licences catering to SMEs and other non-retail segments.

The regulator on Jan 7 announced that it had received 21 digital bank applications - seven for the full bank licences and 14 for the wholesale licences.

Successful applicants will be announced in mid-2020.