South Korean digital bank KakaoBank and Indonesian lender Superbank have announced a strategic partnership to drive digital banking innovation in Indonesia.

In this strategic partnership, KakaoBank will acquire a 10 percent stake in Superbank through the issuance of new shares, the duo said in a statement on Tuesday.

Superbank is a new transitioning digital-focused bank in Indonesia backed by a consortium comprising Grab, Singtel and Emtek Group.

The bank is expected to launch its app to the public this year.

With the partnership, KakaoBank will actively collaborate in the development of Superbank’s products and services.

Drawing on its domestically proven competitiveness in digital finance and platform expertise, as well as ranking #1 in monthly active users among major banking apps in South Korea, KakaoBank brings a wealth of experience to this collaboration that aims to deepen its understanding of the Southeast Asian market and its customers.

Through this collaboration, KakaoBank is committed to enhancing its global competitiveness, gaining valuable experience, and actively contributing to the advancement of digital finance within the Southeast Asian market.

“With this strategic investment and collaboration with Superbank that marks the very first step of KakaoBank’s global business, KakaoBank will create the future of finance by collaborating with major partners in Southeast Asia to jointly build mobile financial technology platform, starting with Superbank in Indonesia,” said Yun, Ho Young, Chief Executive Officer of KakaoBank Corp.

In addition, he said that this partnership is also a realization of their long-term commitment to create synergy between KakaoBank’s mobile financial technology and Grab’s successful Southeast Asian business.

“Ultimately, we would like to establish a global digital bank network through our technology and service partnership,” he said.

Meanwhile, Superbank President Director Tigor M. Siahaan said that this partnership signifies the fusion of international expertise with the boundless potential of Indonesia.

“Sharing a commitment to financial inclusion and technology-driven progress, this partnership not only bolsters Superbank’s capabilities but also brings us closer to our mission of serving the financial needs of the underbanked communities, especially the MSMEs and retail customers,

“We are thrilled to welcome KakaoBank as a strategic shareholder and look forward to leveraging their expertise to provide innovative financial solutions to Indonesian consumers,” he said.

Superbank, formerly known as PT Bank Fama International, has undergone a transformative journey to become a digital-focused bank.

Founded in Bandung in 1993, the bank entered a new era when it became part of Emtek Group at the end of 2021, followed by Grab and Singtel in early 2022.

According to the statement, Superbank’s strength is derived from its ecosystem, featuring prominent entities such as Grab, Singtel and Emtek Group.

These industry leaders boast extensive market penetration across
diverse sectors, including Emtek’s multi-platform media viewers and all-commerce online sellers, as well as millions of Grab platform users.

With Singtel’s footprint spans 21 markets, catering to millions of mobile customers and enterprises. Leveraging the advanced technology, insights, and network assets within the ecosystem, Superbank is also strategically positioned to connect with the underbanked micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) and retail customers in Indonesia, offering them tailor-made financial services.

Established in January 2016, KakaoBank inaugurated its service to the general public in July 2017 after having obtained a final full banking license from the Financial Services Commission of the Republic of Korea in April 2017.

The firm is actively utilizing latest technology such as chatbot and artificial intelligence to provide the easiest and most reliable mobile-only banking to its customers.

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