GCash not keen on setting up own digital bank even as value hits $2 billion

Art Fuentes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 15 2021 08:54 PM

MANILA - GCash has no plans of applying for a digital banking license like its main competitor as it prefers to remain a platform for other financial institutions instead of competing with them, the head of Globe’s fintech arm said on Monday. 

“Even without the digital banking license we are already able to offer a full suite of financial services,” said Martha Sazon, CEO of Mynt which operates GCash. 

PayMaya, which directly competes with GCash, announced earlier that it secured a license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to put up its own digital bank, called Maya Bank.

Sazon however said that not having its own bank allows GCash to be “more flexible--whether we want to originate our own loans or partner with other banks.”

“Becoming a digital bank is not a magic solution to be able to address all the current problems of the industry,” Sazon said. 

The Ayala-led fintech also said that while it has been profitable for the past 4 months, profitability is still currently not its main goal. 

“GCash is one of the very few fintech companies in the world that has proven that it can make money. But moving forward, our focus really is to grow the business, grow the user base and the use cases,” Sazon said. 

“And if that means losing money just to invest more, then we are not hung up on just making money,” Sazon said. 

Globe’s CEO Ernest Cu meanwhile also said that GCash is not keen on doing an initial public offering soon. 

A Globe official was quoted earlier this year that the telco’s fintech arm was eyeing an IPO to fund its expansion.

But after a fresh infusion of cash from international investors which drove its valuation to around $2 billion, Cu said GCash was in no rush to list. 

“So far right I think being private is good, we can raise all the capital that we need--attracting world-class investors who also probably gave us the seal of approval as the definitive fintech investment in the country today,” Cu said. 

Globe led a surge in telco stocks recently, driving the company’s stock to record highs. Some analysts attributed this to excitement over GCash’s explosive growth.

The Ayala-led telco reported last Friday that its consolidated net income grew 13 percent to P18 billion for the first 9 months of the year.


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