PayMaya has secured a license to establish a digital bank from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
The soon-to-be digital bank will be known as May Bank and it will leverage PayMaya’s successful track record of being at the forefront of accelerating financial inclusion in the country.
PayMaya is the only financial technology company in the Philippines that operates an end-to-end FinServ (financial services) ecosystem with its e-wallet, digital remittance network through Smart Padala, and the largest non-bank merchant payments processing business.
With the digital banking license, Maya Bank’s primary focus will be the largely unbanked and underserved population of consumers and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs). It also intends to promote digital financial services among the youth, women, senior citizens, and other underbanked segments.
Both PayMaya and Maya Bank will spearhead Voyager’s digital financial services thrust, supporting the BSP’s goals of digitizing 50% of the total volume of retail payments and expanding the financially included to 70% of Filipino adults by 2023.
In June 2021, Voyager raised an additional US$167 million to accelerate the growth of PayMaya’s digital payments business and expand to new and inclusive products, such as credit, insurance, savings, and investments, through the soon-to-be-established digital bank. Voyager’s shareholders include PLDT, global investment firm KRR; leading Chinese technology company Tencent; and the World Bank’s IFC Asset Management Company through its IFC Emerging Asia Fund and IFC Financial Growth Fund.
As a neo bank, Maya Bank will provide mobile-first digital banking services on the back of PayMaya’s widely trusted e-wallet and proven technology platforms. It will maximize PayMaya’s extensive Smart Padala agent network and leading merchant payments processing business to serve more customers and grow the digital financial ecosystem.
The BSP earlier announced that it would limit the digital bank licenses to just seven, with six now granted (including the Maya Bank). The window for the submission of applications from new entrants, including converting banks, closed last August 31, 2021.