A New Digital Bank Will Launch in the Philippines in 2020

via Fintechnews Philippines

TONIK Financial announced today that its subsidiary in the Philippines has received Notice of Approval for a new banking license from the Central Bank of the Philippines. The license will enable Tonik to provide a full range of retail banking services, focused primarily on retail deposits and consumer loans, through what they claim is the first digital-only branchless bank licensed platform in the Philippines, starting in 2020.

TONIK believes that Philippines banking sector is ripe for a digital disruption, and will follow the lead of other markets globally, where digital-only “neobanks” have rapidly captured millions of customers and attracted over $5B of investor funding in the last 2 years alone.

Philippines represents a $140B retail deposit market, and a $100B unsecured consumer lending opportunity. The digitally native Filipino clients, with an average age of 24, constitute the #1 market globally in terms of daily internet and social media usage. However, over 70% of the adult population remains unbanked, and market research indicates that over 50% of existing bank clients would be keen to switch their deposits to a pure-play digital contender.

TONIK shared that its senior team members have previously built and scaled multiple digital and retail banks and fintechs across Global Emerging Markets. TONIK is led by Founder & CEO Greg Krasnov, who had previously co-founded four market leading fintech start-ups in the consumer finance space in Asia, as well as founded, built and successfully exited a significant consumer finance bank in Emerging Europe.

Greg Krasnov, Founder & CEO of TONIK, said:

“Digital-only banks globally have successfully demonstrated their ability to take massive market share by launching hyper-compelling consumer propositions, while also operating at disruptively low unit costs, and thus generating outstanding Returns on Assets and Equity. We are honored to have been chosen by the regulator as a test partner in bringing these global best practices to the Philippines through the first digital-only bank license in the Philippines and indeed Southeast Asia. We believe that the regulator’s confidence in us serves as the testament to the unique strength and track record of our team and the attractiveness of our product philosophy. We look forward to bringing a new level of digital banking services to the Filipino clients.”

Chuchi G. Fonacier, Deputy Governor in charge of Financial Supervision Sector at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said:

“Aligned with the BSP Governor’s drive of bringing the central bank closer to the Filipinos, we have consciously worked on ensuring that we maintain an enabling regulatory environment for responsible new financial system players. We have always welcomed players who offer reliable and inclusive financial services through innovative solutions. Thus, it is with great optimism that we welcome TONIK Bank in the Philippines and we look forward to exciting digitally-centered products and services and committed efficiencies that will benefit every Filipino.”