PayMaya gets go signal from BSP to operate digital bank

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 20) — PLDT's PayMaya continues to gain ground in the financial technology space as it has secured a digital bank license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

Voyager Innovations, the fintech arm of PLDT and the operator of PayMaya, said in a statement the license allows the group to establish a digital bank unit called Maya Bank.

This provides PayMaya with more room for growth as Maya Bank, the Philippines' sixth digital lender, seeks to entice the largely unbanked and underserved population of consumers and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises.

The central bank earlier said it would limit digital bank licenses to seven.

"Maya Bank will be a key vehicle in hastening digital adoption among Filipinos through inclusive financial services," Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of PLDT, Voyager and PayMaya, was quoted as saying in the statement Monday.

The digital lender will bank on PayMaya's technology platforms to provide mobile-first digital banking services to clients.

Maya Bank will also take advantage of PayMaya's extensive Smart Padala agent network and merchant payments processing business to serve more customers and grow the digital financial ecosystem.

The group said Smart Padala is now present in over 92% of all cities and municipalities. As of end-August, its registered users ballooned to 40 million as the government's unending lockdowns have forced Filipinos to embrace digital payments.

In June, Voyager secured $167 million in fresh funding to fuel the expansion of PayMaya.

READ: PLDT's Voyager gets $167-M funding to boost PayMaya