TECHNOLOGY company Voyager Innovations said it has raised $167 million (roughly P8.1 billion) for the expansion of financial technology (fintech) arm PayMaya and the establishment of a digital bank.
PayMaya’s services currently include mobile wallet, digital payment processing and digital remittance.
With the establishment of a digital bank, it will be offering financially inclusive products, including credit, insurance, savings and investments.
In a statement, Voyager said it has applied for a digital bank license with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
Once granted a digital bank license by the BSP, the new entity will provide mobile-first, low-cost, round-the-clock, frictionless, branchless, ubiquitous, paperless, secure, and smart neo-banking services on the back of PayMaya’s proven technology platforms.
“We have seen a quantum leap for digital payments adoption in the Philippines over the past year, and PayMaya has served as the nexus connecting consumers and enterprises with enriching digital finance experiences. This investment supports the unique value we bring and gives us a natural head start with the target market for the digital banking service,” said Orlando B. Vea, Voyager and PayMaya CEO and founder.
The fresh funds came from existing shareholders PLDT Inc., global investment firm KKR and China-based technology firm Tencent.
Voyager also gained a new investor, the IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund, a division of the International Finance Corp., which is a member of the World Bank Group.
Voyager said it will use the new funds to continue enabling more unbanked and underserved individuals, and micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“As we did with payments and remittances, we will enable the large masses of Filipinos to leapfrog into a new stage of financial inclusion through integrated digital financial services. Our goal is to continue making lives better for millions of underserved people and small businesses, with cutting edge solutions that are affordable and relevant,” Voyager and PayMaya president Shailesh Baidwan said.
The total registered users of the PayMaya mobile wallet and Smart Padala by PayMaya remittance services doubled in just 18 months as of June 2021 to 38 million, or more than half of the adult population in the Philippines.
PayMaya allows both the banked and unbanked Filipinos to add money, cash out, make payments and remit funds through more than 250,000 digital-finance access touchpoints, seven times the number of the ATMs and bank branches in the country.
Its PayMaya Mall, an in-app feature, directly connecting over 350 enabled merchants to retail consumers.
Its enterprise business posted a four-fold increase in merchant acceptance points equipped with payment solutions that accept credit, debit and prepaid cards as well as e-wallets for both face-to-face and online transactions.
PayMaya also equips over 70 national and social services agencies, and local government units with digital payments and disbursement services. It is also the first financial technology company to adopt QR Ph, the national standard for merchant payments.
In January 2021, PayMaya began expanding its digital financial services offerings with "sachet" loans for MSMEs through its lending arm, PayMaya Lending Corp., and health and device protection products with insurance partners.
PayMaya introduced its first lending product called Negosyo Advance last January among its Smart Padala agent network, composed of around 40,000 micro-entrepreneurs.
With insurance partners, PayMaya also offers PayMaya Protect for health coverage, starting with COVID-19 and personal accidents. It also offers protection for mobile devices, with premiums that can cost less than P1 daily for cracked screens, water damage and other incidents. (Ventures Cebu)