Kenanga x Ant Group MoU 1(1)

Kenanga signs MoU to develop Super App with Ant Group’s mPaaS

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Kenanga Investment Bank (Kenanga) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Ant Group, whereby Kenanga would leverage Ant Group’s mobile development platform (mPaaS) to launch Malaysia’s first wealth SuperApp.

This SuperApp, anticipated to launch in Q1 of 2023, is geared to facilitate Malaysians’ approach towards wealth management and wealth generation.

(L-R: Derrick Loi, Lee Kok Khee, Datuk Chay Wai Leong, Geoffrey Jiang, and Ian Lloyd)

Kenanga’s Group Managing Director, Datuk Chay Wai Leong, said, “Having spent a year conceptualising and designing the SuperApp, we are thrilled to partner with Ant Group, a globally recognised anad experienced infrastructure and platform provider to develop this platform and bring it to life.”

The platform

Geoffrey Jiang, President of Ant Group’s Digital Technology Business Group described Ant Group’s solution as being a licensed software platform that different service providers can plug their services into as mini programs.

“Adopted by many new businesses to build new apps and optimise the performance of existing apps, our financial-grade mPaaS mobile development platform is well-positioned to support Kenanga in integrating a wide range of products and services to its SuperApp,” Geoffrey had shared, and added that to date, the way forward is that Kenanga will host the backend infrastructure of the platform themselves.

The analytics required to operate the platform and deliver services to customers would also be managed by Kenanga with full compliance to regulatory requirements. It is understood that Kenanga would be able to respond to any threat of attack pre-emptively, as a result.

Mutual goal

Ian Lloyd, Kenanga’s Group Chief Digital Officer shared, “Our relationship with Ant Group is exploring how to use their technologies including the mobile platform-as-a-Service to create a brand new way for customers to engage with Kenanga.

“So they can help bring all of our products to customers in a safe, accessible, and understandable manner.”

Ian commented that Kenanga wants to understand how they can apply Ant’s technology in new ways, and how to create new products and new services that reach their customers using Ant Group’s technologies.

It’s a subtly different approach.

He also added that Kenanga is very much focused on the wealth management space, and on how to help bring their existing products; like KDI Save and RakutenTrade to more users in the mass affluent segment.

Moving forward with Ant Group’s mPaaS offering, Kenanga’s next step is about building up more services, as well as building out an ecosystem where they can bring their products in an integrated manner to their customers.

Future plans

The idea is that it would be easy for Kenanga’s super app to integrate into Ant Group’s network of invested wallet around the region.

This means that Kenanga’s super app users would be able to use their wallets in different countries where Ant Group has invested wallets presence like India, Thailand, Korea, Philippines, and more.

Ant Group’s own wallet, AliPay is serving 1.3 billion users.

Derrick Loi, General Manager of International Business at Ant Group shared, “We have always believed in working with local partners, and that’s why we have taken a huge investment stake in about nine wallets and fintech companies across Asia.”

He explained this includes supporting them and working with them to respect the local business practices, the local customer preference in order to deliver services that are truly localised.

Derrick shared that there are many future possibilities with customers/partners like Kenanga, but “we will rather focus on launching the super all, delivering trust, investment literacy, and financial inclusion to truly benefit the investment community in Malaysia.”

According to Fintech News Malaysia, there’s a likelihood of demand for Kenanga’s embedded wealth solutions because digital platforms and digital banks will roll out wealth services to remain competitive and fuel their next phase of growth.

However, these players’ ability to offer embedded solutions on their respective platforms is still contingent on whether or not they are able to secure approval from the Securities Commission Malaysia. In order to distribute capital market products, platform operators are required to be registered as a Recognised Market Operators (RMO).