Voyager Innovations through financial technology arm PayMaya Philippines secured an approval from the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to establish a digital bank.
Called Maya Bank, the digital bank will leverage PayMaya’s successful track record of being at the forefront of accelerating financial inclusion in the country.
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.
It also intends to promote digital financial services among the youth, women, senior citizens and other underbanked segments.
“The digital transformation of our country is at the top of the PLDT group’s agenda, and this development is a big step forward for Voyager and PayMaya. Maya Bank will be a key vehicle in hastening digital adoption among Filipinos through inclusive financial services,” said Manuel Pangilinan, chairman of PLDT, Voyager and PayMaya.
“We are very excited to work with the BSP to leapfrog the Philippine financial ecosystem by speedily developing and launching innovative digital banking services, especially for the underserved segments,” said Shailesh Baidwan, president of Voyager and PayMaya.
“With Maya Bank and PayMaya, we will provide a powerhouse suite of intuitive, transparent, and readily accessible digital financial services relevant to Filipinos, in support of the country’s financial inclusion goals,” he said.
PayMaya is the only financial technology company in the Philippines that operates an end-to-end FinServ (financial services) ecosystem with its widely used leading e-wallet, the most extensive on-ground digital remittance network through Smart Padala and the largest non-bank merchant payments processing business.
The BSP earlier announced that it would limit the digital bank licenses to seven, with six now granted, including Maya Bank’s. The window for the submission of applications from new entrants, including converting banks, closed on Aug. 31.
Both PayMaya and the soon-to-be-established Maya Bank will spearhead Voyager’s digital financial services thrust, supporting the BSP’s goals of digitizing 50 percent of the total volume of retail payments and expanding the financially included to 70 percent of Filipino adults by 2023.
Voyager raised an additional $167 million in June 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.
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.
PayMaya launched the first open-loop digital payments app in the Philippines in 2015, changing the game by enabling users to get a basic e-wallet account with a virtual Visa or Mastercard via their mobile phones in a matter of minutes.
PayMaya teamed up with Smart in July to launch GigaPay—a feature that enables Smart customers to create and link their PayMaya e-wallet as the payment source for GigaLife transactions. With Julito G. Rada