Top 5 Fintech Philippines News of the Week (CW 22)by Fintechnews Philippines June 1, 2018
Fintechnews.PH picks every Friday for you the top 5 Fintech Philippines News of the week:
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Here we go:
21 fintech firms seen to invest P2b in CEZA
The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) is expecting up to P2 billion of fresh investments in its freeport coming from 21 offshore fintech firms engaged in blockchain and cryptocurrency operations that signed up with the government-owned and-controlled corporation.
“They could bring in fresh investments of up to P2 billion in the next two years,” said CEZA Secretary Raul L. Lambino in a statement, noting the Cagayan Special Economic Zone and Freeport (CSEZFP) would be a haven for the first offshore companies to locate in this Northern Luzon enclave he is developing into a financial technology (Fintech) solutions and blockchain hub.
“We have a perfect setting for some of the young Filipino generation’s best minds and the world’s leading cryptocurrency companies to engage in the development of the next wave of technological innovations,” he added.
Speaking during last week’s Fintech summit, labelled “New Venture in the Valley Unfolds,” Lambino positioned the Freeport, the jewel of Cagayan Valley, to become the “FinTech City” or the “Silicon Valley” of Asia. He sketched a “technological garden” nestled at the foot of the Sierra Madre mountain range, and within walking distance of the finest beaches in the 54,000-hectare CSEZFP.
Coins.ph hits 5m users of its blockchain-powered platform
Philippine-based digital wallet and mobile payments app Coins.ph announced it has reached over five million customers on its blockchain-powered platform since launching it four years ago.
“We are excited and proud to provide five million customers with access to financial services,” said Ron Hose, CEO and founder of Coins.ph. “Our focus on creating financial inclusion to all Filipinos has propelled our growth to date. Millions of our customers have already used Coins.ph’s web and mobile apps to access a wide array of financial services including buying load, paying bills, topping up their beep™ card, and purchasing digital currencies, all without needing a bank account.”
Coins.ph’s platform allows a fast, affordable way to send cross-border payments made possible due to its use of fast, low cost Blockchain settlements.
Coins.ph announced it now supports Ethereum (ETH), with an eye for future smart contract based financial services, and will also begin supporting Bitcoin Cash (BCH) next month, in an effort to support lower cost blockchain based payments.
Pundi X unveils blockchain-based POS system in PH
Pundi X, a blockchain-powered, global point-of-sale (POS) solutions firm has introduced its platform in the Philippines and plans to formally launch its cryptocurrency POS smart terminal to physical stores later this year.
Pundi X hosted its first-ever meet-up in Manila for the blockchain community where it demoed Pundi XPOS to enable brick-and-mortar retailers to accept, sell, and buy cryptocurrency, making it accessible to the next billion cryptocurrency users.
“There are over 2.3 millions of documented overseas workers in the Philippines. Some of them choose to purchase cryptocurrencies and send them back to their families. Cryptocurrency can make the cross-border transactions faster and more cost effective,” said Peko Wan, Vice President of Pundi X, who noted that the Philippines is one of the largest markets in ASEAN countries that is friendly to cryptocurrency startups.
Although the blockchain ecosystem in the Philippines is not as developed as in neighboring markets, the company is upbeat about the technology’s future in the country. Pundi X team operates globally with offices in Jakarta, London, Taipei, Shenzhen and Singapore.
5 PH rural banks join blockchain initiative pilot run
Five rural banks in Mindanao, the Philippines’ second largest island, have been picked to pilot the blockchain initiative of the Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) and ConsenSy, a US-based blockchain software technology company.
The piloted rural banks are Cantilan Bank, Inc. of Surigao del Sur, PR Savings Bank, City Savings Bank, FairBank, and Progressive Bank. The banks carry an approval from Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to be part of the pilot run, the PNA reported.
UnionBank chair Dr. Justo Ortiz said Thursday the bank’s i2i Project, a real-time, cost-effective and secure retail payment system, aims to bring unbanked Filipinos to the financial system, as well as connect rural banks into the country’s financial network.
Tanya Hotchkiss, executive vice president of Cantilan Bank, Inc., said they’re looking at a faster system for bank-to-bank transfer saying the current practice takes a considerable amount of time.
Hotchkiss hopes that the blockchain technology will change this, citing for instance the drastic reduction in fund transfer fee to only PHP1 compared to the current rate of PHP50 to PHP150.
Cebu Pacific taps Appsolutely for rewards platform
Airline firm Cebu Pacific has tapped enterprise software services and fintech firm Appsolutely to connect its GetGo lifestyle rewards program to Appsolutely’s digital asset LoyalCoin.
Through the partnership, users can now convert LoyalCoin to GetGo points using the LoyalWallet app at a rate of 1.20 LYL = 1 GetGo point, according to BCFocus.
“The partnership is a natural response to our mutual commitment to help consumers maximize the rewards they earn from their purchases”, shared Appsolutely CEO Patrick Palacios.
Appsolutely is the creator of the blockchain-backed “Loyalty Economy,” enabling brands and consumers to connect and transact more effectively via customer loyalty programs.