THE local operations of Singapore-based Tonik Financial Pte. Ltd. has secured a digital bank license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), the first private neobank to do so in the country.
“Securing a digital banking license is one of this year’s anticipated milestones for us,” Tonik CEO and Founder Greg Krasnov announced last Monday. “This will help us further strengthen our foothold in the neobanking space through accelerating the roll out of our additional lending and payment products.”
A neobank is a financial institution that performs the services of a bank exclusively online. Tonik officially launched in the Philippines in March with its cloud-based solution powered by global financial technology firms Mastercard, Finastra and Amazon Web Services.
“We are truly privileged to be working with a regulator such as the BSP who shares the same vision of bolstering financial inclusion in the country,” Tonik Digital Bank Inc. President Maria Lourdes Jocelyn S. Pineda said. “An official digital bank license will enable us to offer more products and services to narrow the gap between the banked population and the huge underserved segment in the Philippines.”
Tonik received its initial rural bank license from the BSP in 2019, allowing the neobank to provide retail banking services focused on retail deposits, card payments and consumer loans.
In 2020, the BSP issued Circular 1105 on “The Guidelines on the Establishment of Digital Banks,” providing the framework and regulatory provisions for the operation and establishment of a digital bank in the Philippines.
Earlier this year, the BSP approved the digital bank license of Overseas Filipino Bank (OFBank), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Land Bank of the Philippines Inc.