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Railsbank news round-up: TONIK to offer full range of banking services in the Philippines

Week 1: a brief look back at some of the fintech news that’s not always picked up.

First pure-play digital bank in Southeast Asia receives bank license approval

We are looking back at the first week of the new year and we hear that TONIK Financial’s subsidiary in the Philippines, TONIK Digital Bank, has received Notice of Approval for a new banking license from the Central Bank of the Philippines. TONIK said it's the first pure-play digital bank in Southeast Asia to receive bank license approval.

Once operational, the license means that TONIK will be able to provide a full range of retail banking services, focused primarily on retail deposits and consumer loans, through the first digital-only, branchless bank licensed platform in the Philippines.

TONIK told the media that it 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$5bn of investor funding in the last two years.

It added that the Philippines represents a US$140bn retail deposit market and a US$100bn unsecured consumer lending opportunity.

In a statement it said: “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 is led by Founder and CEO Greg Krasnov, who had previously co-founded four fintech start-ups in the consumer finance space in Asia.

Krasnov 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 chosen by the regulator as a test partner in bringing these global best practices to the Philippines through the first digital-only bank license 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."

Irish fintech wins place in Accenture's London FinTech Innovation Lab

Irish insolvency technology startup Cerebreon has been selected to take part in Accenture's Fintech Innovation Lab to accelerate growth with enterprise clients in the banking sector.

Cerebreon is an intelligent data extraction, analytics and transmission platform for the insolvency and debt recovery industry.

The company said it is the first cloud platform to offer a full range of data and insight solutions to creditors, and insolvency practitioners, to transform debt portfolio management.

Gillian Doyle, CEO of Cerebreon, said: "We're thrilled to have been selected to be part of Fintech Innovation Lab London.

"The programme has a fierce reputation for selecting the best companies to work with enterprise partners and we are looking forward to getting the most out of the 12 weeks."

Cerebreon uses deep learning and machine intelligence to increase the success of insolvency arrangements, ensuring that as many consumers as possible become debt free as well as giving all stakeholders maximum returns.

Matthew Molloy, Programme Lead for Accenture's London FinTech Innovation Lab said "Cerebreon stood out as a unique proposition that has the power, not only to transform debt recovery for creditors and the insolvency practices that structure repayment arrangements, but also have a lasting and positive impact on the lives of consumers who need help with debts."

He added, "the insolvency and debt industry will benefit massively from Cerebreon's plans to unify data across all stakeholders. Cerebreon's use of deep learning is a market first that I know our partners will be very interested in."

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