Bank Negara Malaysia is expected to announce the successful applicants for its digital bank licenses on Friday (Apr 29), local media reported, quoting sources. The central bank said earlier that the announcement will be made by end of last month.

The central bank later told local media that it would be announcing the winners “upon completion of the legal process”.

Bank Negara did not immediately respond to TechNode Global‘s query.

Bank Negara announced in July it has received 29 applications for digital banking licenses.

A diverse range of parties has submitted applications for the digital bank license, ranging from banks, industry conglomerates, technology firms, e-commerce operators, FinTech players, cooperatives, and state governments.

Notable applicants that have officially announced their applications include Grab-Singtel venture, Axiata-RHB consortium, Paramount-Star Media Group, iFAST Corporation Ltd, Capital A’s (previously AirAsia Group) BigPay-MIDF-Ikhlas Capital consortium, and AEON Credit Service (M) Bhd, among others.

Analysts previously told TechNode Global that consortiums partnering with banks or financial institutions and e-wallet operators have an upper hand in securing a digital banking license in Malaysia.

Frontrunners were said to include the Axiata-RHB consortium,, according to earlier reports.

Malaysia will be joining Hong Kong, Singapore, and the Philippines to issue digital banking licenses in recent years. Neighboring Thailand is also preparing rules of setting up virtual banks, Bloomberg reported in February.

Consortiums partnering banks, e-wallets have an upper hand to bag Malaysia digital bank licenses