Gokengwei-backed GOtyme Secures Digital Bank License

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By Shiela Bertillo

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved the joint venture between the Gokongwei Group and Singapore-based Tyme to operate a digital bank, GOtyme. This is the fifth license to be granted by the central bank, as the coronavirus pandemic accelerates the digital shift.

GOtyme is set to launch its operations in the second quarter of 2022; it will have its own app and digital kiosks located in malls of the Gokongwei Group. 

In a statement, GOTyme said its addition in the roster of companies given the clearance to run a digital bank exemplifies BSP’s commitment to achieve its goal to bring 70% of Filipino adults into the banked population and have 50% of payments done online by 2023. (Read More: BSP Approves ‘Digital Bank’ as New Category of Bank)

Lance Gokongwei, JG Summit President and Chief Executive Officer stated that GOtyme will bring about better financial inclusion for a greater majority of the Filipinos.

“We see our model of digital banking, with onboarding and education in retail networks and a well-designed app for transacting, as the best way to provide greater financial empowerment to our customers.” Gokongwei said.

The Philippines is the first country where the Tyme group first expanded. It launched in South Africa in 2019 and has 3.5 million customers.

“In South Africa, 3 million of our 3.5 million customers joined TymeBank through our digital kiosks deployed in retail environments. We believe the combination of this technology and the Gokongwei Group’s nationwide retail footprint provides GOtyme a clear path to rapid growth,” said Nate Clarke, GOtyme co-CEO.

Tyme Executive Chairman Coen Jonker expressed his gratitude for their ratified application, “Tyme has a strong model and hard-won lessons to bring to the Philippines. We are grateful for the trust shown by the BSP in our license application. We look forward to getting to know and serving the people of the Philippines as we launch GOtyme,” Jonker said. (Read More:

GOtyme President and CEO Jojo Malolos said the digital bank would utilize the Gokongwei Group’s extensive ecosystem that is highly integrated into the daily lives of Filipinos.

“This distribution strategy will assist in the democratization of financial services, addressing the needs of all Filipinos regardless of age, income or geography,” Malolos said.

Currently, The BSP has given four companies the go signal to operate as digital banks in the country. These are the Overseas Filipino Bank of state-run Land Bank of the Philippines, Tonik Digital Bank, UNObank, and Union Digital Bank of Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines.

However, BSP announced that it will no longer be receiving applications for new digital banks including banks wanting to convert their status from 1st September 2021.

Digital bank applications sent in to BSP until 31 August 2021 will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

“The closure of the application window will allow the BSP to monitor the performance and impact of digital banks on the banking system and their contribution to the financial inclusion agenda.” said Benjamin E. Diokno, Governor of BSP.

This article is published on BitPinas: Gokengwei-backed GOtyme Secures Digital Bank License 

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