Two Filipino Fintech Leaders Recognised at SFF Global Fintech Awardsby Rebecca Oi November 7, 2022
Two Filipino fintech companies’ leaders received awards at the recent Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) Global FinTech Awards 2022
UNO Digital Bank Manish Bhai, Founder, CEO, was awarded the Top 10 FinTech Leaders award. Meanwhile, GeiserMaclang founder Cristina Amor Maclang walked away with the ASEAN FinTech Leaders award.
The award has garnered 223 submissions across all nine award categories, with 48 finalists shortlisted and the eventual winners selected by distinguished experts from industry leaders, investors, and professionals at the SFF Global FinTech Awards 2022.
“Innovative technologies continue to hold tremendous potential in boosting FinTech offerings and shaping the broader financial sector. Through the Global FinTech Awards and the Global FinTech Hackcelerator, we want to celebrate and give recognition to individuals and enterprises that are making a positive impact on the Fintech ecosystem and, at the same time, encourage and foster a culture of continuous innovation within the Fintech sector,”
said Shadab Taiyabi, President of SFA.
UNO Digital Bank
UNO Digital Bank is one of the six digital banks licensed by Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Philippine Central Bank), and its President and CEO Manish Bhai, aim to help bridge the financial inclusion gap in the Philippines and eventually Southeast and South Asia.
UNO Digital Bank, with UNO meaning “one” in Spanish, allows users to open an account in less than five minutes and cash in for free at 7,500+ outlets and cash out at 4,500+ outlets nationwide. It also provides high-interest rates for deposits, going up to 4.25 percent if users opt for a #UNOready savings account, and up to 6.5 percent interest rate with #UNOboost time deposit, with the deposits insured for up to PHP 500 thousand by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation.
The digital bank will soon launch the first numberless card in the Philippines, according to an announcement on its website, called the UNO Debit Mastercard. Its features include rendering the card unusable in cases of theft or lost cards for safety and security purposes, global acceptance via the partnership with Mastercard, and contributing to sustainability causes by manufacturing the card from 85.50 percent recycled plastic.
GeiserMaclang which started out as a traditional advertising agency has since shifted its focus to fintech. The company has helped its clients, which include banks, insurance companies, and other financial institutions, to grow and stay competitive in the ever-changing landscape of finance.
Amor Maclang, serving as the company’s founder and also the Digital Pilipinas Convenor & Fintech Philippines Association (FPH) Executive Director, was one of the winners of ASEAN FinTech Leaders, in recognition of her efforts in Digital Pilipinas, the Philippines’ largest private-sector movement actively championing technological adoption in industries,
Her work also laid the foundation for Open Finance transformation, which she described as “not a vertical but a horizontal that powers various industries” while creating a seamless interaction across sectors.
“The PFF (Philippine Fintech Festival) will take a deep, constructive dive into the issues surrounding the cooperation of enterprises at the national and regional levels,”
“Working with the public sector to increase the country’s digital quotient has always been part of Digital Pilipinas’ advocacy.
Fintech in the Philippines
Fintech is rapidly expanding in the Philippines, driven by the country’s booming digitalisation, a favourable regulatory environment, and the government’s ongoing efforts to improve financial inclusion.
Fintech startups in the Philippines are focused on various sectors, including payments, lending, and remittances.
United Overseas Bank (UOB) reported that the total funding for fintech firms in the Philippines reached PHP19990.76 million (US$342 million) while, Philippine-based startups raised a total of PHP60.21 billion (USD$1.03 billion) in funding last year.
The country’s large population of unbanked and underbanked consumers presents a significant opportunity for fintech companies to provide financial services to this underserved market.
Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), or the Philippine Central Bank, foresees 50 percent of total retail transaction volume will be digital, and 70 percent of Filipino adults will be financially included by 2023, boosting the country’s economy and the digitalization development.
According to Statista, the market’s largest segment will be digital payments with a total transaction value of PHP 1668.23 billion (US$28.54 billion) in 2022.
With supportive environment regulations and the government’s ongoing efforts to improve financial inclusion, more is expected from the fintech industry in the Philippines. Although challenges such as low financial inclusivity remain, the open digital environment and consistent innovations could catalyse rapid growth and expansion.