Homegrown fintech startup SquidPay Technology Inc. (SquidPay) has entered into last stage negotiations for the acquisition of a 60% stake in Phil Star, a development bank headquartered in Batangas City. Upon finalization of its majority stake, SquidPay will increase bank capitalization to P1.5 billion, the BSP requires a total of at least P1.0 billion for digital bank license applicants.
Phil Star Development Bank (Phil Star), Inc. is a subsidiary of Philippine Regional Investment Development Corporation (PRIDE), a wholly-owned subsidiary of AbaCore Holdings Corporation, a publicly-traded company (ABA) with interests in financial services, real estate, and gaming technology.
This acquisition forges the path for SquidPay to strengthen its platform’s alliances and provide financial services for millions of unbanked and underserved Filipinos across the nation. Integrating digital bank operations creates an array of financial services for SquidPay users that closes the gap between the country’s deep mobile phone penetration and lagging online transaction growth. “The partnership for digital banking is a social enterprise to address the financial services needs of the unbanked,” says Bernando Villegas PhD., an independent director of AbaCore Capital, Professor at UAP, and Director of the Center for Research and Communication, Manila.
Atty Antonio Gregorio, Vice Chairman of AbaCore and President of PRIDE adds, “ABA and PRIDE are eager to forge this partnership with SquidPay. The dedication and expertise of SquidPay perfectly fits our vision to help uplift the Philippine countryside.”
Marvin Dela Cruz, CEO of SquidPay notes, “this consolidates the development of SquidPay’s end-to-end financial ecosystem. In terms of impact, it accelerates our ability to reach our target markets, in terms of value it enables us to create more services and transactions per platform user. “Bakit ka pa maghihintay sa bangko, kung pwede naman ang bangko na lang ang papuntahin sayo?” [Why will you still wait in line at the bank, if the bank can come to you instead?]
Digital banks service customers through an entirely application-based platform. Although the platform utilizes cash agents or other delivery partners for some activities, the core banking functions such as granting loans, issuing electronic money, credit cards, foreign exchange, and micro-insurance are executed with ease online.
“SquidPay’s acquisition shall fortify the financial backbone for our future smart cities to operate metropolitan-level IoT systems. We want the security and robustness of a bank but with the speed and efficiency only possible with the latest technologies.”
SquidPay intends to implement this ‘financial backbone’ and its vision of shared countryside development with listed company Premiere Horizon Alliance (PHA), another recent key partner. “Growth should come from everywhere,” says Mr. Dela Cruz.
Bolstered by the SquidPay platform and its team, Phil Star’s future plans will enable greater financial industry participation by leveraging SquidPay’s relationship with various LGUs, together with major banks to promote greater financial inclusion especially during this pandemic.
“One of the big challenges facing our BSP’s digital roadmap is financial education and perceptions- I think people learn best when they see and experience, show me, don’t tell me. That’s our strategy- we want to show that our online transactions are safe and simple- and we want to let our services be engaging everyday experiences.” – Marvin Dela Cruz, CEO, SquidPay Technology.
Get SquidPay for free via these links:
Play Store: https://bit.ly/squidpayplaystore
App Store: https://bit.ly/squidpayappstore
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