The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) recently announced in a statement that it has finally completed issuing certificates of authority (COA) to the six companies that applied for digital banking licenses. Acquiring the certificate is the third and final step to enabling these financial institutions to start full operations.
“Operating initially under limited capacity is a conservative approach adopted by digital banks to further ensure that all aspects of their digital operations are ironed out prior to fully launching their services to the public,” it said.
One of the latest banks to receive the BSP’s approval was GOtyme, an affiliate of the Gokongwei Group and Singapore-based Tyme, which received its COA last July 29. The digital bank received its license in August last year, and was operating since the second quarter of the year. It has its own app and digital kiosks located in malls of the Gokongwei Group. (Read more: GoTyme Receives BSP Go Signal to start Digital Bank Operations)
UnionDigital, the digital banking arm of the Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines, also began operations last month as it received its certificate on July 12th. (Read more: UnionDigital Gets BSP Approval to Start Operations)
“OFBDB, TONDB, and MAYA are now fully operational, while UBI, UDB, and GTYME have commenced limited operations targeting select customers,” the BSP noted. They also added that they expect the three banks in limited operations to publicly launch by the second half of 2022.
The issuance of licenses for digital banks during the pandemic is part of the central bank’s campaign for digitalization of retail payments around the country. BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap aims to digitalize half of the total volume of retail payments in the country and onboard at least 70 percent of Filipino adults into the formal financial system by 2023.
According to the BSP, digital banks are a new bank category separate from existing bank categories where banking services are delivered over the internet.
However, as per BSP Governor Felipe M. Medalla, digital bank applicants may still wait for two to three years before they can seek a license from the central bank as the BSP still needs to improve its capacity to regulate these kinds of lenders. (Read more: BSP Unlikely to Approve More Digital Banks in Near Future –Incoming BSP Governor)
This article is published on BitPinas: BSP: All Six Digital Banks Now Allowed to Operate
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