cashless payments

PayMaya gets $167 million as it gears up for digital bank

Ralf Rivas
PayMaya gets $167 million as it gears up for digital bank

GOING CASHLESS. A shopper scans a PayMaya QR code to buy goods.

Voyager/PayMaya

Voyager Innovations, the company behind PayMaya, will use the funds to expand current services and set up its digital bank

Voyager Innovations raised $167 million (P8.1 billion) which will be used to fast-track projects of its financial technology arm and mobile wallet giant PayMaya Philippines.

Participating in the latest funding round were existing PLDT shareholders, global investment firm KKR, and Chinese technology company Tencent.

Voyager also welcomed IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund as a new investor.

This investment includes $121 million in fresh funding and $46 million from previously committed funds.

The multibillion-peso funding comes as Voyager recently applied for a digital bank license with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

Once granted a digital bank license, the new company 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,” said Orlando Vea, Voyager and PayMaya chief executive officer.

“This investment supports the unique value we bring and gives us a natural head start with the target market for the digital banking service.”

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PayMaya and its Smart Padala remittance service saw doubling of registered users in just 18 months to 38 million, roughly over half of the Philippine adult population.

PayMaya noted that users can cash out in over 250,000 digital-finance access “touch points” in the Philippines, seven times the number of automated teller machines and bank branches in the country.

Back in January, PayMaya also expanded its digital financial services with “sachet” loans for micro, small, and medium enterprises through its lending arm, PayMaya Lending Corporation. 

PayMaya’s services have had strong demand in a grossly unbanked Philippine population amid the pandemic.

BSP data showed that only one in three Filipino adults has a formal bank account and has loans. Of those who have loans, only 3% have borrowed from banks, and around 77% and 75% of the population do not have insurance and investments, respectively. – Rappler.com

$1 = P48.65

Ralf Rivas

A sociologist by heart, a journalist by profession. Ralf is Rappler's business reporter, covering macroeconomy, government finance, companies, and agriculture.