Friday, May 31, 2024

Gokongwei-led digital bank granted license by BSP

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has approved the application of Gokongwei-led GOtyme to operate a digital bank, making it the latest entity to join the growing list of digital banks in the country. 

Photo from Freepik.com

The addition of GOtyme in the roster of companies given the clearance to run a digital bank is part of the 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. 

GOtyme is a partnership between the Gokongwei Group, one of the biggest conglomerates in the Philippines, and the Singapore-headquartered digital banking group Tyme. The venture combines the Gokongwei Group’s multi-industry operations with Tyme’s digital banking technology and hands on experience.   

Earlier this year, Tyme announced its $110 million Series B capital raise from its new Singapore headquarters, bringing foreign investment into South Africa for TymeBank and laying the foundation for Tyme’s expansion across ASEAN, starting with the Philippines.

 “GOtyme will leverage the Gokongwei Group’s extensive eco-system that is highly integrated into the daily lives of Filipinos — where they already shop, eat and spend family time,” said Jojo Malolos, president and CEO of GOtyme. “This distribution strategy will assist in the democratization of financial services, addressing the needs of all Filipinos regardless of age, income, or geography.”    

Malolos will lead GOtyme, together with Nate Clarke, one of Tyme’s founding team members. 

The new digital banking player said it will provide secure and easy onboarding through both an app and digital kiosks located throughout the mall and retail footprint of the Gokongwei Group. 

“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,” stated Clarke, GOtyme’s co-CEO. 

GOtyme is expected to launch in the second quarter of 2022.   

“GOtyme will bring about better financial inclusion for a greater majority of the Filipinos from day one. 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.  What Cebu Pacific has done for travel is what we plan for GOtyme to deliver in financial services,” said Lance Y. Gokongwei, president and chief executive officer of JG Summit Holdings Inc., one of the holding firms in the Gokongwei Group of companies.

Coen Jonker, executive chairman of Tyme, said: “The Philippines is Tyme’s first expansion into Asia. With TymeBank’s over 3.5 million customers since its launch in February 2019 and highest Net Promoter Score among banks in South Africa, Tyme has a strong model and hard-won lessons to bring to the Philippines. We are grateful for the trust shown by BSP in our license application.  We look forward to getting to know and serving the people of the Philippines as we launch GOtyme.”

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