Digital bank Tonik eyes lending expansion, hints at cryptocurrency feature

Jessica Fenol, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 23 2022 11:22 AM | Updated as of Mar 23 2022 01:42 PM

MANILA - Citing overwhelming demand, licensed digital bank Tonik on Wednesday said it was eyeing to launch cryptocurrency services on its app.

The digital-only neobank, which is celebrating its first year anniversary in the country, will also focus on expanding its lending services this year, Tonik Founder and CEO Greg Krasnov said.

“The Philippines is one of the biggest markets in demand of crypto and lending services in the world, and we are laser-focused on making these available soon in our app," Krasvov said. 

Tonik which launched in 2021 gained popularity in the local fintech space for its up to 6 percent interest rate on time deposits as well as its stash savings features. 

"We heard you, we heard a lot of people are very keen on crypto as a digital bank we feel that we need to be in the space. This is something that we as a team has been studying," Tonik chief product officer Ed Joson said. 

This year, Tonik aims to expand its lending portfolio by venturing into the "buy now, pay later" scheme as well as home loans for to up to P2.5 million, it said. 

Joson said the fintech firm aims to "change the way Filipinos apply for multipurpose loans" by making it faster, more convenient and purely digital through the Tonik app.

The bank is licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas while deposits are ensured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp (PDIC), it said. 

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has given out 6 digital licenses in the country to assess its impact on the market, Governor Benjamin Diokno earlier said.

Digital banks, which are designed to make onboarding to the formal banking system faster and more affordable, are in line with the central bank's digitalization goals, Diokno earlier said. 

The BSP aims to make 50 percent of payments digital and to encourage 70 percent of the population to open bank account by 2023 under its digitalization roadmap.

Aside from Tonik, the BSP has awarded digital banking licenses to the Landbank's Overseas Filipino Bank (OF Bank), PayMaya's Maya Bank, Gokongwei Group's GoTyme and UnionBank's UnionDigital and 
UnoBank, which is backed by Singapore-based fintech company DigibankASIA Pte Ltd.

JG Summit president and CEO Lance Gokongwei earlier told ABS-CBN News that GoTyme was eyeing to launch its services by mid-2022. PayMaya's Maya Bank, meanwhile, said it could test-launch the platform by the end of the month. 


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