Peppermint’s new licence sweetens its opportunities in the Philippines

  • By Zilla Efrat

ASX-listed fintech Peppermint Innovation has opened more doors in the Philippines after securing a license to operate as an electronic money issuer (EMI) in the country.

The EMI license, granted by the Central Bank of the Philippines, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, authorises the company to deliver e-wallet services through its bizmoto mobile App. This means any Filipino, not just bizmoto agents, can use the bizmoto platform to receive digital money and access digital services.

The accreditation allows Peppermint and bizmoto users to join the 38.881 million Filipinos that are transacting digitally, following bizmoto’s integration with fund transfers services such as InstaPay and PESONet and with non-banking institutions for cash-in and cash-out services.

Peppermint says the license significantly extends its opportunities to reach micro-entrepreneurs and provide digital payments for their businesses. They also can apply for bizmoPay loans, purchase bizmoProtect micro-insurance policies and future bizmoto platform products and services.

Peppermint aims to connect marginalised Filipinos such as farmers, fishermen, entrepreneurs and people living on day-to-day pay cheques so they can safely and more quickly receive their salaries, pension, social security benefits and other government financial assistance.

Peppermint will soon start work on a pilot program with a local community to facilitate financial inclusion by encouraging members to become bizmoto users so they can immediately access digital and mobile payments as an alternative to cash transactions within their community.

"The issuance of an EMI licence to Peppermint also affirms the company's previously stated three-phase business strategy,” says Peppermint’s managing director and CEO Chris Kain.

“We always said one of our operational objectives was to obtain an EMI licence and we've now achieved that milestone.

"We are grateful to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for entrusting Peppermint with an EMI licence, especially given its decision last December to impose a two-year ban on issuing any further non-bank or bank-owned EMIs to ensure a ‘liquidity-strong’ digital payments sector."

By 2023, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas wants 50 per cent of all retail transactions in the Philippines to be digital and 70 per cent of Filipino adults to have formal accounts.

It says this shift can be made by offering customers faster and more affordable payment options that provide greater convenience.