First pure-play digital bank in Southeast Asia receives bank license approval.
SINGAPORE – 7 JANUARY 2020 – TONIK Financial Pte Ltd (“TONIK”) announced today that its subsidiary in the Philippines, TONIK Digital Bank Inc, has received Notice of Approval for a new banking license from the Central Bank of the Philippines. The license will enable TONIK to provide retail banking services focused primarily on retail deposits and consumer loans as stipulated in its approved banking license starting 2020.
TONIK believes that the banking sector in the Philippines is ripe for a digital disruption, and will follow the lead of other markets globally, where digital-only “neobanks” have rapidly captured millions of customers and attracted over US$5 billion of investor funding in the last 2 years.
Philippines represents a US$140 billion retail deposit market, and a US$100 billion unsecured consumer lending opportunity. The digitally native Filipino clients, with an average age of 24, constitute the #1 market globally in terms of daily internet and social media usage. However, over 70% of the adult population remains unbanked, and market research indicates that over 50% of existing bank clients would be keen to switch their deposits to a pure-play digital contender.
TONIK’s senior team members have previously built and scaled multiple digital and retail banks and fintechs across Global Emerging Markets. TONIK is led by Founder & CEO Greg Krasnov, who had previously co-founded four market leading fintech start-ups in the consumer finance space in Asia, as well as founded, built and successfully exited a significant consumer finance bank in Emerging Europe.
Greg Krasnov, Founder & CEO of TONIK, said: “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. We are honored to have been given the opportunity by the regulator in bringing these global best practices through a purely digital platform, the first in the Philippines and indeed Southeast Asia. We believe that the regulator’s confidence in us serves as the testament to the unique strength and track record of our team and the attractiveness of our product philosophy. We look forward to bringing a new level of digital banking services to the Filipino clients.”
Chuchi G. Fonacier, Deputy Governor in charge of Financial Supervision Sector at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, said: “Aligned with the BSP Governor’s drive of bringing the central bank closer to the Filipinos, we have consciously worked on ensuring that we maintain an enabling regulatory environment for responsible new financial system players. We have always welcomed players who offer reliable and inclusive financial services through innovative solutions. Thus, it is with great optimism that we welcome TONIK Bank in the Philippines and we look forward to exciting digitally-centered products and services and committed efficiencies that will benefit every Filipino.”
TONIK Financial Pte Ltd (www.tonikbank.com) is the first digital-only bank in Southeast Asia, on a mission to revolutionize the way money works in the region. It provides retail financial products, including deposits, loans, current accounts, payments, and cards on a highly secure digital banking platform. TONIK is led by a senior team who have previously built and scaled multiple digital and retail banks and fintechs across Global Emerging Markets. Founded in 2018, TONIK is launching operationally in 2020 in the Philippines through its own bank license, with support and R&D functions based in Singapore and Chennai, India. TONIK was seeded and built by FORUM (www.forum-cap.com), the top fintech venture builder in Southeast Asia.