GCash not planning to have digital bank yet

·3 min read

GCASH has no plans of getting a digital bank license, saying that it already is offering a full suite of financial services to Filipinos.

“We don’t have plans right now. Our position now gives us the opportunity to collaborate with other financial institutions versus competing with them, so that we can offer their products also to our 51 million registered users. Even without the digital bank license, we are able to provide a full suite of financial services—savings, investments, insurances, credit and loans--making it accessible and affordable, easy to understand for all Filipinos,” said Martha Sazon, chief executive officer of Mynt, which operates GCash, during Globe’s Q3 virtual media briefing Monday, Nov. 15, 2021.

GCash competitor PayMaya has secured a digital bank license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to set up a digital bank, Maya Bank, which is slated for launching in the first quarter of 2022.

Sazon added that even without a digital bank, GCash’s stance also “makes us flexible whether we want to originate our loans or partner with other banks.”

“Becoming a digital bank is not a magic solution to be able to address all the current problems of the industry,” Sazon said.

Users

GCash has over 51 million registered users, 3.9 million digital touchpoints, more than 94,000 cash-in and cash-out agents, and over 750 billers.

It said it remains on track to triple its gross transactions handled to P3 trillion this year from the record P1 trillion reported in 2020.

GCash is operated by Mynt, the lone Philippine startup in Credit Suisse’s Southeast Asia 35 Unicorns list.

Mynt raised over US$300 million in funding at a valuation of over $2 billion on Nov. 2, 2021. This solidifies its status as the country’s only unicorn, and one of the leading fintech companies in Southeast Asia.

“Buoyed by the success of Mynt’s latest funding round and achieving double unicorn status, we believe that our strategy to use the telco business as a platform to become a digital solutions group by exploring adjacencies in high-growth areas such as fintech, healthtech, AdTech and ecommerce, among others, will embolden us to launch more potential unicorns in the near term and pave the way for us to become a leader in the digital space. Rest assured that Globe will continue to create new and exciting propositions to reach more customers, as we provide connectivity and solutions to power and enable a robust digital ecosystem for the Filipino,” said Globe president and chief executive officer Ernest Cu.

Going public

Moving forward, Sazon said GCash will continue growing its business on the back of the rising digital adoption among Filipinos.

“GCash is one of the very few fintech companies in the world that has proven that it can make money. But moving forward, our focus really is to grow the business, grow the user base and the use cases,” she said.

Meanwhile, Cu and Sazon said GCash is not keen on doing an initial public offering (IPO) anytime soon.

“Although listing is a possibility, it has to be done for a reason. Right now, there is no timetable determined yet for listing. Our focus now is to create more value by growing GCash. We shall continue to build innovative products for our platform to ultimately tap more unbanked and underserved Filipinos,” said Sazon.

“As for IPO, it has to be for the right reason and the right timing. We are very much involved in scaling the business... and serving the various needs of the country relative to financial inclusion. Once we will achieve more of these, that’s the time we will go public, to raise more money and to further our intentions,” Cu explained.

“So far right I think being private is good, we can raise all the capital that we need--attracting world-class investors who also probably gave us the seal of approval as the definitive fintech investment in the country today,” he added.

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