Serrari Group

Investors, both local and global, have injected over $700 million (approximately P40 billion) into the Philippines’ digital banking sector, marking a significant milestone in the industry’s growth trajectory.

Since its establishment in 2021, the Digital Bank Association of the Philippines (DiBA PH) has played a pivotal role in attracting substantial investments to the country’s digital banks. Angelo Madrid, President of DiBA PH and Maya Bank, emphasized the profound impact of this financial infusion, stating its importance in driving economic growth, job creation, and expanding access to financial services.

The surge in investments has been driven by the digital-first strategies adopted by these neo-lenders, resulting in a substantial increase in deposit accounts and credit facilities. By the end of 2023, the number of depositors had reached 5.9 million, with the value of deposits nearly doubling from P35 billion in 2022 to P69 billion in 2023.

Additionally, the industry’s loan portfolio witnessed significant growth, surpassing P25 billion from P11 billion previously. This expansion underscores the pivotal role digital banks play in delivering tech-driven and personalized financial services, particularly to underserved communities.

Despite challenges such as the slow rollout of the national ID system and limited coverage of the national credit bureau, digital banks are actively bridging critical gaps in the country’s financial infrastructure. DiBA PH emphasized that the surge in investment reflects recognition of the sector’s potential to drive economic inclusivity and innovation.

The establishment of a new digital banking category by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in 2021 laid the groundwork for this transformative shift. All six BSP-licensed digital banks, including GoTyme Bank, Maya Bank, Overseas Filipino Bank (OF Bank), Tonik Digital Bank, UnionDigital Bank, and UNO Digital Bank, commenced operations and went live by 2023.

Each digital bank boasts credible investors committed to the long-term growth of the Philippine market. Nathaniel Clarke, a DiBA PH trustee and President of GoTyme Bank, expressed optimism about the future, highlighting the commitment to stabilizing the sector and scaling up initiatives, including credit.

The infusion of over $700 million into Philippine digital banks signifies a pivotal moment in the country’s financial landscape, heralding a new era of financial inclusion and innovation. As the digital banking revolution gains momentum, the Philippines stands poised at the forefront of technological advancement in financial services, driven by unprecedented investor confidence.

photo source: Google

By: Montel Kamau

Serrari Financial Analyst

26th April, 2024

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