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Singapore-Based UNObank Is Latest Digital Bank to Get Greenlight from BSP

There's one more player in the digital bank arena.
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Another digital bank has just received approval to operate in the Philippines by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. Singapore-based UNObank is the latest digital bank to enter the market and will operate under the BSP's new Digital Banking License framework.

Founded only in 2020, UNObank is operated by Singapore fintech DigibankASIA Pte. Ltd., which was co-founded by fintech experts in the region: CEO Manish Bhai, CTO Puneet Gupta, and co-founder Kalidas Ghose.

“The BSP’s vision and foresight to digitize the local banking industry is future-forward and apt, because ultimately it will help align the Philippines as a modern banking center for the region,” said Bhai, CEO of UNOBank.

UNObank's long-term goal is to bridge the financial inclusion gap in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and South Asia. BSP's last financial survey from 2019 estimates that 51.2 million out of 72 million Filipino adults are still unbanked.

The digital bank's backend is built by leading tech firms Mambu, Backbase, and Amazon Web Services.

“As a fintech company, we are based in Singapore to tap the vibrant fintech community here for the latest in innovation and technological development," said Gupta, CTO of UNObank.

What is UNObank?

UNObank prides itself on its "AI-first" approach to banking and offers users features such as facial recognition, voice identity, and machine learning. On the mobile banking app, account holders can save, borrow, transact, and invest via the app. The company's website also claims to provide dynamic credit lines, pre-approved salary advances, no hidden charges, and highest interest rates, although no details have been revealed as of press time.

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Once launched, the bank's UNO card will let users users access savings, credits, foreign exchange, and more. This is in line with the fintech's "UNO" philosophy that hopes to centralize all financial needs in one app and one card.

UNObank enters the Philippine market at a time when digital banks are in high demand. There's no date yet for its release, but the Philippines' growing financially-savvy market will no doubt await its launch.

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Anri Ichimura
Section Editor, Esquire Philippines
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