Digital Banking: Philippines based Fintech Voyager Innovations Secures $176M from PLDT, Tencent, Others

Philippines-based digital and financial services company Voyager Innovations has secured $167 million in capital for its expansion program, which includes a venture into virtual banking, its listed and largest shareholder confirmed on Monday (June 28, 2021).

Shareholders PLDT Inc, private equity firm KKR & Co Inc and Chinese technology firm Tencent Holdings Ltd took part in Voyager Innovations’ latest investment round, PLDT revealed in a disclosure statement.

Voyager, which currently serves millions of residents in the Philippines via its digital wallet, virtual payments and remittance services, has welcomed a unit of the World Bank’s International Finance Corp as a new investor in the company.

As reported by Reuters, the Fintech company stated that it had submitted an application for a virtual banking license with the reserve bank in the Philippines. The central bank has so far provided three local firms an approval to operate as a digital banking platform.

Only a third or 33% of Filipinos currently have access to formal bank accounts, which means they’re among the lowest in Asia, giving Fintechs in the country a good opportunity to expand their business and offer modern financial services to a large number of users.

As covered, Philippines-based neobank Netbank reveals that it has decided to join the Mastercard Fintech Express program which should allow it to access a wide range of all-digital products. Netbank will also be able to issue debit and credit cards under its partners’ brands.

As reported recently, the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) has introduced a digital transformation initiative with assistance from the Rural Bankers Association of the Philippines (RBAP). The new project will be supporting the SynerFi Open Finance Network.

Earlier this month, Philippines-based virtual bank Tonik revealed that it has managed to acquire a digital banking license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the nation’s central bank. Before receiving this license, Tonik had been offering services under a rural banking license (since 2019).

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