Finovate Global Philippines: Insurtech, SuperApps, and Turning Corner Shops into Banking Hubs,852&ssl=1#

Philippines-based digital bank Tonik has entered the insurance business. The neobank announced a new strategic partnership this week with life insurance company Sun Life Grepa Financial, Inc. (Sun Life Grepa).

The partnership will enable Tonik to offer its customers Payhinga, a credit life and disability insurance product. Payhinga gives policyholders access to life and disability insurance with coverage of up to 120% of the loan amount. Further, policyholders can use a two-month payment holiday to reschedule upcoming loan payments in the event of financial difficulty.

“The partnership with Sun Life Grepa will significantly expand our suite of products, and insurance is a highly sought-after addition our customers have been requesting,” Tonik Country President Long Pineda said.

The Philippines’ first, digital-only neobank, Tonik offers loan, deposit, and payment products to consumers via its digital banking platform. The bank teamed up with FC Home Center, launching its Shop Installment Loan with the retailer in August. In June, Tonik announced that it had reached the one million customer milestone. Greg Krasnov (CEO) founded Tonik in 2020.

Speaking of digital banks based in the Philippines, UNO Digital Bank is teaming up with Collabera Digital. A digital engineering services provider, Collabera Digital will help the bank develop and integrate a mini app within superapp GCash.

Collabera Digital provided the strategy to address key issues such as AML and KYC, and built an integrated API platform. The leading superapp in the Philippines, GCash provides a wide range of financial services including money transfer, billpay, savings, investments, insurance, lending, and more. UNO Digital Bank’s integration into GCash will boost access to financial services to individuals across the socio-economic spectrum. The integration also supports the growth of the digital economy via services like mobile banking and digital wallets.

“Our partnership with GCash is significant in scaling and increasing our customer reach,” founder and CEO of UNO Digital Bank Manish Bhai said. “As a greenfield bank, built independently of a larger traditional institution, we have to be innovative in identifying opportunities to grow and expand. GCash, with their 90+ million users and active thrust towards financial inclusion, is a great partner leading to a win-win proposition for both the entities.”

UNO Digital Bank was founded in 2021 and is headquartered in Taguig, a city in the Manila metropolitan area. The institution had total assets of $29 million (PHP 1.78 billion) as of end of year 2022.

What are fintechs in the Philippines doing for small businesses? Merchant fintech platform yufin announced a series of partnerships this week designed to bring new services to Philippines-based merchants. The new additions to yufin’s partnership ecosystem include wholesaler Lots for Less, delivery firm Transportify, and streaming content company Vivamax.

Shubhrendu Khoche, President and co-founder of yufin Philippines, noted that the new partnerships will drive greater digital adoption by businesses throughout the value chain. “As the financial growth engine for small merchants, these new partnerships will create more reasons for digital payment for our small merchants, their shoppers, and suppliers,” Khoche explained.

Founded in 2021, yufin aims to raise the income of 10 million households at least by 50% in the next five years. The company’s partnership ecosystem helps turn small, corner shops into preferred banking and credit hubs for their customers. With a goal of partnering rather than competing with local banks, yufin offers assisted digital financial services that enable underserved communities to leverage technology to improve financial outcomes.

Here is our look at fintech innovation around the world.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South Africa’s Lipa Payments secured full SDK certification for Tap to Phone from both Visa and Mastercard.
  • Kenyan fintech and mobility solutions company Data Integrated won approval to operate as a Payment Service Provider from the country’s central bank.
  • Stitch, a business payments company based in South Africa, raised $25 million in Series A funding.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • German B2B Buy Now Pay Later payments provider Mondu registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • Polish fintech Verestro integrated the Quicko Wallet money transfer service within the Slack application.
  • Cloover, a climate-based fintech based in Germany, raised €7 million in pre-seed funding.

Middle East and Northern Africa

Central and Southern Asia

  • Indian fintech Aurionpro acquired loan management system Omnifin for $9.8 million.
  • Pakistan-based SadaPay enabled Apple Pay invoicing for freelancers in the country.
  • Indian credit card company Slice earned the approval of the Reserve Bank of India to merge with North East Small Finance Bank.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Digital banking and payments solutions provider i2c announced a partnership with Peru’s Banco de Credito.
  • Payments platform Airwallex inked an agreement to acquire Mexico-based payment service provider MexPago.
  • Chile-based fintech Forpay launched a new feature that enables companies to directly charge bank accounts with requiring intermediaries.


  • Vietnam’s Lien Viet Post Joint Stock Commercial Bank (LPBank) teamed up with Temenos to update its core banking platform.
  • International payments provider Nium expanded its B2B travel payments offering in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • BigPay teamed up with payments platform Thredd to support its expansion into Thailand.

Photo by Meo Fernando

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