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PayMaya Secures a License from BSP to Operate as Digital Bank

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Voyager Innovations announced that it had obtained approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas' (BSP) Monetary Board to establish a digital bank through its financial technology PayMaya.

To be known as Maya Bank, the digital bank will leverage PayMaya’s successful track record of being at the forefront of accelerating financial inclusion in the country. PayMaya is the only financial technology company in the Philippines that operates an end-to-end FinServ (financial services) ecosystem with its widely used leading e-wallet, the most extensive on-ground digital remittance network through Smart Padala, and the largest non-bank merchant payments processing business.

Maya Bank's primary focus with the digital banking license will be on the predominantly unbanked and underserved population of individuals and micro, small, and medium-sized businesses (MSMEs). Additionally, it aims to increase awareness of digital financial services among youth, women, seniors, and other underbanked segments.

The BSP had previously stated that it would limit digital bank licenses to seven, which it has already accomplished with the award of six licenses, including Maya Bank's. The opportunity for new entrants, including converting banks, to submit their applications concluded on August 31,2021.

Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman of PLDT, Voyager, and PayMaya, said: “The digital transformation of our country is at the top of the PLDT group’s agenda, and this development is a big step forward for Voyager and PayMaya. Maya Bank will be a key vehicle in hastening digital adoption among Filipinos through inclusive financial services.”

Both PayMaya and the soon-to-be-established Maya Bank will spearhead Voyager’s digital financial services thrust, supporting the BSP’s goals of digitizing 50% of the total volume of retail payments and expanding the financially included to 70% of Filipino adults by 2023.

In June 2021, Voyager raised an additional US$167 million to accelerate the growth of PayMaya's digital payments business and expand to new and inclusive products, such as credit, insurance, savings, and investments, through the soon-to-be-established digital bank. Voyager counts PLDT Inc. (PLDT) (NYSE: PHI) (PSE: TEL), the Philippines' largest integrated telecommunications company and digital services provider; KKR, a global investment firm; Tencent, a leading technology company in China; and World Bank’s IFC Asset Management Company (IFC AMC) through its IFC Emerging Asia Fund and IFC Financial Growth Fund, among its shareholders.

As a neo bank, Maya Bank will provide mobile-first digital banking services on the back of PayMaya's widely trusted e-wallet and proven technology platforms. It will maximize PayMaya's extensive Smart Padala agent network and leading merchant payments processing business to serve more customers and grow the digital financial ecosystem.

PayMaya launched the first open-loop digital payments app in the Philippines in 2015, changing the game by enabling users to get a basic e-wallet account with a virtual Visa or Mastercard via their mobile phones in a matter of minutes.

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