9 applicants vying for last digital bank slot: BSP

Warren De Guzman, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2021 04:04 PM

MANILA - Nine applicants are vying for the last digital bank license, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said Tuesday.

The BSP has said that it will grant only 7 digital licenses in the initial phase to assess the financial service's contribution to the economy. Six licenses have so far been given.

"The Monetary Board decided to limit it to 7 because we feel we need to closely monitor this new technology, these digital banks,
and we want to find out their contribution to the economy, and how it will impact on the competition of existing banks," said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno during a webinar hosted by the Management Association of the Philippines.

Maya Bank, the digital bank of PLDT's Voyager, was the last to get a digital banking license from the BSP.

Landbank's Overseas Filipino Bank (OF Bank), UnionBank's Union Digital, Tonik Bank, UnoBank and the Gokongwei group's GOTyme have all been approved in 2021. 

OF Bank and Tonik bank have been operating while UnoBank, backed by a Singapore-headquartered fintech company, as well as the Gokongwei Group's GOTyme are set to open in the coming months. 

Diokno said the 7th bank would be announced soon.

Other existing banks do not need to have a digital banking license to offer online services, the governor said.

Digital bank is a new banking category that has no physical branch and is designed for faster onboarding, especially those who are unbanked.

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