PayMaya to accelerate Pinoys’ digital adoption

Richmond Mercurio - The Philippine Star
PayMaya to accelerate Pinoysâ digital adoption
PayMaya was able to obtain the approval of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to establish a digital bank named Maya Bank.
PayMaya / Released

MANILA, Philippines — Voyager Innovations Inc., through its financial technology arm PayMaya Philippines, is poised to further accelerate digital adoption among Filipinos through its recently-approved digital bank venture.

PayMaya was able to obtain the approval of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to establish a digital bank named Maya Bank.

In a statement, PayMaya said the soon-to-be-established Maya Bank intends to primarily focus on the largely unbanked and underserved population of consumers and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises. ?

It also plans 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,” PLDT, Voyager and PayMaya chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

As a neo bank, Maya Bank will provide mobile-first digital banking services on the back of PayMaya’s 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 Philippines is at the cusp of digital transformation, and over the recent years, PayMaya has led the charge in accelerating financial inclusion across consumers and enterprises. Our digital bank license underpins the unique value of our end-to-end financial services ecosystem as it unlocks opportunities beyond payments. We are truly honored by the trust placed on us by the BSP for our digital banking endeavor,” Voyager and PayMaya CEO and founder Orlando Vea said.

Both PayMaya and 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.

The BSP decided to limit the digital bank licenses it will grant to seven, with Maya Bank the sixth entity allowed to operate under the new banking classification.

The window for the submission of applications from new entrants, including converting banks, closed last Aug. 31.

“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. 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,” Voyager and PayMaya president Shailesh Baidwan said.

Voyager shareholders include telco giant PLDT, global investment firm KKR, Chinese technology company Tencent, and World Bank’s IFC Asset Management Co. through its IFC Emerging Asia Fund and IFC Financial Growth Fund.

Last June, Voyager raised an additional $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.

PayMaya launched the first open-loop digital payments app in the country in 2015, enabling users to get a basic e-wallet account with a virtual Visa or Mastercard via their mobile phones in a matter of minutes.

Since then, PayMaya has become embedded in everyday transactions such as sending money and remittances, bills payment, topping up of telco load and other digital goods, online shopping and face-to-face retail, donations, disbursements of payroll and citizen aid, and transportation fees, among others.

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