Tonik digital bank deposits reach P3.5 billion

Lawrence Agcaoili - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Purely digital and branchless bank Tonik reported P3.5 billion in retail deposits as of mid-August, less than six months after it opened in the Philippines.

At the same time, the digital bank also launched the physical debit cards for clients of its mobile app.

Greg Krasnov, founder and chief executive officer of Tonik, said Filipino consumers increasingly prefer the convenience of physical debit cards for their daily transactions.

Krasnov said the security of card payments remains their primary concern of clients.

“Our physical debit cards are specifically designed to offer a highly secure payment experience. We hope this will help the Philippines continue on its rapid path of transition toward a cashless society and will help drive higher financial inclusion in the country,” he said.

Tonik’s debit cards are equipped with multiple pioneering features for secure payments, including not putting the name and card number on the face of the card to provide enhanced customer data privacy, in-app controls to easily freeze and unfreeze the debit card for transactions as well as 3D secure and advanced antifraud, powered by Mastercard’s state-of-the-art security suite.

Furthermore, the stash and time deposit accounts of clients are not directly linked to the account.  Also, card and cardholders have the ability to manage the limits of physical debit cards within the app.

“In line with Tonik’s philosophy of maximizing customer’s access to their money, Tonik debit cards offer the highest potential transaction limit in the market of up to P450,000,” the digital bank said.

However, Tonik encourages its clients to keep limits low to reduce risk, and only increase the limits for specific high-ticket transactions, and subsequently reducing them back to a lower level to keep their accounts well protected.

It is also urging customers to use their virtual card for online transactions, instead of the physical card, as in the unlikely event of the card being compromised, the virtual card is very quick and easy to replace.

With the physical debit cards that could be ordered through the app, customers could use the cards at any ATM or merchant that is part of Mastercard’s global network.

The BSP has imposed a three-year moratorium on the grant of digital banking licenses starting Sept. 1 to closely monitor the performance and impact of the new banking classification on the industry. It has also limited the number of licenses to be granted at seven.

So far, the central bank’s Monetary Board has approved the digital banking licenses of Overseas Filipino (OF) Bank of state-run Land Bank of the Philippines, Tonik Digital Bank, UNObank, Union Digital Bank of Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines as well as GOtyme – a joint venture between the Gokongwei Group and Singapore-based digital bank Tyme.

The regulator is evaluating the application of two more entities for digital banking licenses, including that of PayMaya’s Voyager Innovations.


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