PHILIPPINES conglomerate JG Summit Holdings and its partner, South Africa's TymeBank, have been granted a licence to operate a digital bank in the Southeast Asian nation, the companies said on Monday.
GOtyme is the fifth digital bank licensee in the Philippines, after UnionDigital, state-run Overseas Filipino Bank, UNOBANK and Tonik Digital Bank Inc.
Launch is set for the second quarter of 2022, acquiring customers through an app and digital kiosks in shopping and retail centres of JG Summit, the companies said.
In November, the Philippine central bank allowed the creation and operation of digital banks with a target of at least 50 percent of payments shifting to digital by 2023, and 70 percent of adults using a digital transaction account by then to wean consumers off loan sharks.
Reuters reported TymeBank's first expansion in Asia in February. The digital bank, which has more than 3.5 million customers in South Africa, is majority-owned by billionaire Patrice Motsepe.
Regulators in Asia are opening banking to digital players, driven by a boom in mobile connectivity and the prospect of tech firms offering low-cost financing services. The Covid-19 pandemic has fast-tracked the adoption of digital services across the region.