Filipino firm Voyager Innovations’ fintech arm PayMaya has secured the digital banking licence from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

The licence will allow PayMaya to establish the country’s sixth digital lender, called Maya Bank.

Maya Bank will focus on the country’s unbanked and underserved market and small and medium-sized businesses.

PLDT, Voyager and PayMaya chairman Manuel Pangilinan said: “Maya Bank will be a key vehicle in hastening digital adoption among Filipinos through inclusive financial services.”

The digital lender plans to offer branchless and smart neo-banking services such as credit, insurance, savings, and investments, among others.

PayMaya launched its first lending product, Negosyo Advance, last January among its Smart Padala agent network.

Earlier this year, it started offering “sachet” loans for MSMEs through its lending division.

In June this year, Voyager Innovations raised $167m from investors such as PLDT, investment firm KKR, and Chinese technology firm Tencent.

Notably, the country’s central bank recently said that it will cap the number of digital lenders in the country at seven.

It has also stopped accepting digital banking license applications.

Currently, GOtyme, UNObank, UnionDigital Bank, Overseas Filipino Bank and Tonik Bank have been licensed by the Bangko Sentral to operate as digital lenders.

Singapore-headquartered digital banking group Tyme and Gokongwei Group’s partnership GOtyme recently obtained a licence to operate as a digital bank in the country.

GOtyme is expected to go live in the second quarter of 2022.