New digital bank Tonik offers time deposit interest up to 6 percent

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 18 2021 05:53 PM

New digital bank Tonik offers time deposit interest up to 6 percent 1
The Tonik neobank interface. Screengrab

MANILA - Newly-launched all-digital bank Tonik on Thursday said it is offering a time deposit interest rate of up to 6 percent and savings account interest rate of up 4.5 percent.

Tonik, a neobank or all digital bank that does not have physical branches, officially launched in the Philippines today and said it is “romancing” Filipinos to save up by offering up to 6 percent interest on time deposits for accounts with a minimum of P5,000 for six months. 

Greg Krasnov, Tonik CEO said they are aiming to tap the more than 70 percent unbanked and underserved Filipinos. 

"There are people who think having money in a regular savings account is enough. For more people, it shouldn’t be,” Krasnov said.

With no physical branch, Krasnov said it uses advanced technology to reduce costs and introduces other core strategies that enable the bank to "sustain" its interest rates and waive fees. 

InstaPay use is also for free, he said. It also has a virtual card that can be used for online shopping, and a debit card coming very soon, Tonik said.

"In the long term we believe what we’re currently offering is definitely sustainable and they deserve it. People work hard to save money and they deserve to earn money from their money," he said.

Tonik also offers "stash" savings feature meant to encourage customers to save up for particular purchases. 

With stash, users can categorize their savings into up to 5 different categories with 4.5 percent interest rate, said chief growth hacker Mila Bedrenets.

Group stash can also be created where several people can save together for a common goal. 

New digital bank Tonik offers time deposit interest up to 6 percent 2
The Stash feature on the app. Screengrab

Clients can sign up using a government ID in as fast as 5 minutes, Tonik said. Cashing in can be done using e-wallets, online bank accounts and even in 7-Eleven stores, it said.

BSP deputy governor Chuchi Fonacier said Tonik ushers in the future of banking in the new economy.

"The bank’s business model is suited to this new economy environment. We are confident that Tonik bank will be able to find convergence between its organizational objectives and the BSP’s aspirations in advancing financial inclusion through the digital ecosystem route," Fonacier said.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas aims to grow online payments in the country by introducing the National Retail Payment System, which includes InstaPay and PESONet. 

Online transactions and cashless payments grew exponentially in the country due to the lockdowns imposed to prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

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