UNO Digital Bank, one of the six digital banks licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), announced that it will offer crypto services like buy and sell on its application by 2024, citing that though the Central Bank has given all the digital banks a go signal to operate, crypto is not yet their priority.
“We think that our strength is our own balance sheet, and we really want to focus on building the deposit book, and the loan book. Then focus on insurance which we are starting and then investments, and then we will look at life side, and other factors like crypto which will come in 2024,” Manish Bhai, founder and CEO of UNO Digital Bank, revealed.
Bhai also assured its customers that the FTX bankruptcy has not affected its plans to offer crypto to clients, since the number of FTX users in the country is not that big.
“What we want to achieve, and what our goal is, is just a single interface to meet all your life’s financial needs. Which is save, borrow, transact, protect, and invest. Now when you look at invest, to complete the investment proposition, at some stage cryptocurrency is a key ingredient of that,” the CEO explained.
As defined by the country’s monetary authority, digital banks are another type of bank which offer financial products and services that are processed end-to-end through a digital platform or electronic channels, with no physical branch, sub-branch, or branch-lite unit offering financial products and services.
UNO Digital Bank is a subsidiary of UNOAsia, a Singapore-based financial technology company. According to the company, the digital bank was built in less than a year using Amazon Web Services (AWS), an Amazon.com company.
The other five digital banks that are licensed by the Central Bank are UnionDigital, the digital banking arm of the Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines; Overseas Filipino Bank of Land Bank of the Philippines; Tonik Bank of Singapore; and Maya Bank.
This is not the first time that a bank or even a fintech company announces plans to offer crypto this year.
It can also be recalled that traditional bank giant UnionBank recently announced that it will offer virtual asset exchange services, including trading crypto, through its mobile banking app.
While Maya, when its name was then Paymaya, said that Maya Bank was already “crypto-ready” before it was launched earlier this year.
And GCash exclusively revealed to BitPinas that it has partnered with PDAX to launch GCrypto soon.
This was supported by GCash Vice President Neil Trinidad when he teased “GCrypto coming soon” during the recently concluded Philippine Web3 Festival.
Meanwhile, in lieu of the expanding crypto industry in the country, BSP Governor Felipe Medalla warned all investors to be careful when investing in crypto, reiterating the risks of blindly investing in cryptocurrency and reminding the public to remain cautious and always conduct due diligence before engaging, as the central bank is still studying the prospects of digital assets.
“I have already said many times in the past that crypto assets are very risky and those who invest are advised to invest only what they can afford to lose,” Medalla concluded.