THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) announced last Wednesday that all six licensed digital banks in the Philippines may now pursue full operations, after the regulator issued to each of the two remaining digital banks a Certificate of Authority to Operate.
In a statement, the Central Bank said the most recent recipients were UnionDigital Ban Inc. and GoTyme Bank Corp., which obtained their certificates last July 12 and 29, respectively.
In the first quarter of 2022, the BSP authorized Tonik Digital Bank Inc. and Maya Bank Inc. to operate as digital banks, while Overseas Filipino Bank Inc., A Digital Bank of LandBank and UNObank Inc. were authorized during the second quarter of 2022.
Digital banks have no physical branches. Their financial products and services are processed end-to-end through digital platforms or electronic channels.
“The operations of digital banks support the BSP’s Digital Payments Transformation Roadmap, which aims to digitize half of the total volume of retail payments in the country and onboard at least 70 percent of Filipino adults into the formal financial system by 2023,” the BSP said.
As of this writing, only Tonik, Maya and Overseas Filipino Bank are in operation. The other three are expected to launch full operations in the second half of the year.
The BSP said it issued the certificates to digital banks that have substantially complied with the BSP’s conditions for approval and pre-operating requirements.
These requirements include capitalization, risk and governance structure and information technology systems, among others.
The process for securing a Certificate of Authority to Operate begins with the application to establish a digital bank, to be approved by the Monetary Board. Once approved by the MB, the BSP issues a Certificate of Authority to Register, to be submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
After registration and completion of all other requirements, digital banks may then obtain the Certificate of Authority to Operate from the BSP.