MANILA : Philippines conglomerate JG Summit Holdings Inc and its partner, South Africa's Tyme, have been granted a licence to operate a digital bank in the Southeast Asian nation, the companies said on Monday.
GOtyme is the fifth digital bank licensee in the Philippines, after UnionDigital, state-run Overseas Filipino Bank, UNOBANK and Tonik Digital Bank Inc.
Launch is set for the second quarter of 2022, acquiring customers through an app and digital kiosks in shopping and retail centres of JG Summit, the companies said in a statement.
In November, the Philippine central bank allowed the creation and operation of digital banks https://www.reuters.com/article/philippines-cenbank-banks-idUSL4N2IC1YA with a target of at least 50per cent of payments shifting to digital by 2023, and 70per cent of adults using a digital transaction account by then to wean consumers off loan sharks.
Reuters reported Tyme's first expansion in Asia https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-philippines-banking-safrica-idUSKBN2AM1JC in February. Digital bank Tyme, which has more than 3.5 million customers in South Africa, is majority-owned by billionaire Patrice Motsepe.
Regulators in Asia are opening up banking to digitalplayers, driven by a boom in mobile connectivity and theprospect of tech firms offering low-cost financing services. The COVID-19 pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of digital services across the region.
(Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)