International Finance

Tonik receives digital banking licence in the Philippines

Tonik Philippines
The neobank startup will be the first pure play digital-only bank in Southeast Asia

Neobank startup Tonik is set to open a digital bank in the Philippines. Tonik will be the first pure play digital-only bank in the Philippines and the rest of Southeast Asia. It aims to revolutionise the banking system in Southeast Asia — and will focus primarily on retail deposits and consumer loans. 

Tonik is based in Singapore. Its subsidiary Tonik Digital Bank was granted regulatory approval to operate a digital-only bank in the Philippines, the reports said. 

The startup was seed funded and established by Forum, a French fintech developer. The Philippines  is primed for a digital banking evolution. Currently, 70 percent of the adult population in the country remains unbanked. Filipinos with an average age group of 24 years represent the world’s largest market in daily internet and social media consumption.

Only two virtual banks CIMB Bank and ING Bank currently operate in the Philippines, the reports said. Greg Krasnov, founder and CEO of Tonik, said in a press release, “Digital only banks globally have successfully demonstrated their ability to take massive market share by launching hyper-compelling consumer propositions, while also operating at disruptively low unit costs, and thus generating outstanding returns on assets and equity.” 

Also, the startup is tapping into the $140 billion retail deposit and $100 billion unsecured retail lending opportunities in the Philippines, according to the company website. 

Tonik offers retail financial products, such as deposits, loans, current accounts, payments and cards on a digital platform. The startup has built more than 30 digital and retail banks in emerging markets. 

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