Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the central bank of the Philippines has decided not to accept digital banking license application from 1 September 2021.

According to a report by Bloomberg, Governor Benjamin Diokno announced the bank’s move stating that it will allow the regulator to monitor the performance of the industry.

The applications before the closing date will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and the number of digital lenders will be capped at seven for the next three years, the report added citing Diokno.

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.

In June this year, Singapore’s DigibankASIA (UNObank) secured a digital banking licence in the Philippines.

Diokno added that two more applications are being processed.

Notably, a significant percentage of the population in The Philippines is unbanked.

According to a central bank survey, the number of unbanked Filipino adults is estimated at 51.2 million, out of a total adult population of 72 million in 2019.

Philippines central bank aims to bring 70% of Filipino adults into the banked population and have 50% of payments done online by 2023.