Voyager Innovations Secured US$167 Million for PayMaya's Growth into Financial Services and Digital Banking - TeknoGadyet
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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Voyager Innovations Secured US$167 Million for PayMaya's Growth into Financial Services and Digital Banking

Voyager Innovations (“Voyager” or the “Business”), the Philippines' foremost technology company, announced that it secured US$167 million through its financial technology unit, PayMaya Philippines (“PayMaya”), to accelerate financial inclusion in the Philippines.

Voyager Innovations Secured US$167 Million for PayMaya's Growth into Financial Services and Digital Banking
Voyager Innovations Secured US$167 Million for PayMaya's Growth into Financial Services and Digital Banking

Existing shareholders PLDT Inc. ("PLDT") (NYSE: PHI) (PSE: TEL), the Philippines' largest integrated telecommunications operator and leading digital services provider; KKR, a worldwide investment firm; and Tencent, a leading Chinese technology business, all participated in the funding. In addition, IFC Financial Institutions Growth Fund, managed by the IFC Asset Management Company (“IFC AMC”), has joined Voyager as a new investor. IFC AMC is a division of the International Finance Corporation ("IFC"), a World Bank Group member, and a current Voyager investor.

Voyager has now raised another round of funding after successfully growing PayMaya's mobile wallet, payments processing, and digital remittance businesses. For the next phase of its aim to enhance financial inclusion in the Philippines, Voyager exploits this unique ecosystem to expand into digital banking. It applied for a digital bank license with the Philippines' central bank, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (“BSP”), to achieve this goal.

See Also: Voyager Innovations Secures USD120M Additional Funding

Voyager will utilize the new capital to extend its PayMaya services and continue to provide new and inclusive products, including credit, insurance, savings, and investments, to more unbanked and underserved individuals and MSMEs through a soon-to-be-established digital bank.

On the back of PayMaya's proven technology platforms, the new business will provide mobile-first, low-cost, round-the-clock, frictionless, branchless, omnipresent, paperless, secure, and smart neo-banking services once given a digital bank license by the BSP.

“We have seen a quantum leap for digital payments usage in the Philippines over the last year, and PayMaya has served as the nexus linking consumers and enterprises with engaging digital financial experiences,” said Orlando B. Vea, CEO-Founder of Voyager and PayMaya. This investment validates the unique value we provide and gives us a natural head start with the digital banking service's target market.”
“As we did with payments and remittances, we will enable the great masses of Filipinos to jump into a new stage of financial inclusion through integrated digital financial services,” said Shailesh Baidwan, President of Voyager and PayMaya. Our mission is to continue to improve the lives of millions of underprivileged people and small companies by providing cutting-edge, inexpensive, and relevant solutions.”

Despite COVID-19 quarantine restrictions enforced beginning March 2020, PayMaya has continued to lead the charge in driving broader acceptance of digital payments among consumers, businesses, and government agencies, achieving critical milestones.

Consumer adoption of its PayMaya mobile wallet and Smart Padala by PayMaya remittance services are among these accomplishments. As of June 2021, the total number of registered users for these consumer platforms had risen to 38 million, accounting for more than half of the adult population in the Philippines.

PayMaya has also made it easier for Filipinos, both banked and unbanked, to add money, cash out, make payments, and send funds through more than 250,000 digital-finance access touchpoints, which is seven times the country's ATMs and bank branches. This enhanced access is crucial for an archipelagic nation where 33% of cities and municipalities lack access to banking.

PayMaya Mall, an in-app feature that directly connects over 350 enabled merchants to retail consumers, is boosting digital commerce in the Philippines by combining the strength of its enterprise and consumer businesses.

Its enterprise division experienced rapid expansion, with a four-fold increase in merchant acceptance points equipped with cutting-edge payment solutions that accept credit, debit, and prepaid cards, as well as e-wallets, for both in-person and online transactions. The micro, small, and medium-sized companies (“MSMEs”) group, which is the focus of PayMaya's rollout for innovative payment and financial services, is driving this increase.

PayMaya provides digital payments and disbursement services to over 70 national and social service agencies and local government entities in the Philippines, in addition to facilitating payment acceptance for the country's largest e-commerce, food, retail, and gas businesses. It's also the first company in the financial technology industry to use QR Ph, the national standard for merchant payments.

PayMaya began expanding its digital financial services offerings in January of this year, with "sachet" loans for MSMEs through its lending subsidiary, PayMaya Lending Corp., as well as health and device protection products through insurance partners.

Last January, PayMaya launched its first lending product, Negosyo Advance, amid its 40,000-strong Smart Padala agent network, the country's largest domestic remittance, and related financial services. Microentrepreneurs in communities who require short-term working capital loans for their day-to-day operations are often Smart Padala agents.

PayMaya offers PayMaya Protect for health coverage, starting with COVID-19 and personal accidents, in collaboration with insurance partners. It also provides mobile device protection, with premiums as low as Php1 (US$0.02)1 each day for cracked screens, water damage, and other accidents.

PayMaya's digital financial services expansion was founded on the strength of its consumer and enterprise payments businesses. It expands PayMaya's ecosystem by providing innovative digital and mobile-first financial services that are accessible, inexpensive, and relevant to today's Filipino consumers and businesses. This year, PayMaya will launch additional innovative services aimed towards underserved markets.

Only one out of every three Filipino adults has a formal bank account and has borrowed money. Moreover, only 3% of those with loans have taken out loans from banks. At the same time, more than 77 percent and 75 percent of the population, respectively, lack insurance and investments. 2 By 2023, the country's central bank hopes to digitize half of all retail payments and increase financial inclusion to 70% Filipino adults.

Voyager's newest financing demonstrates its leadership and capacity to create a diverse, inclusive, and sustainable firm that serves the entire Philippines' digital financial services sector.

This investment includes $46 million in already committed money and $121 million in new funding. KKR's investment is made through its Asia private equity vehicle. Voyager is also backed by the IFC Emerging Asia Fund, which is managed by IFC AMC.

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