An experienced team of international and Filipino bankers has launched the Philippines-based banking-as-a-service platform Netbank. The platform will offer low-cost, high-quality banking services on a white-labelled basis to fintech and other financial services companies, allowing them to accelerate their growth.
“Our mission is to provide the full banking services and infrastructure, so fintech can launch fast, safely, and at low cost”, comments Netbank Co-Founder, Gus Poston. “The fintech industry in the Philippines should be huge. Filipinos have complex financial lives, with many taking loans and making payments. Most of these transactions happen in the informal sector as banks do not serve Filipinos well; bank penetration levels and electronic transactions are low compared to comparable countries like Thailand or Vietnam.”
“At the same time,” Gus continues, “Filipinos are tech and social media savvy. This should be a perfect environment for fintech, yet the industry is developing slowly compared to countries like Indonesia. This is because it is just hard to run a fintech in the Philippines – it takes a long time to get access to payments, to open accounts, to launch an app. This is the problem that Netbank will solve.”
As a fully regulated bank, Netbank is already utilising its rural banking license; having booked loans originated by 3 alternative lenders. And the platform currently sits on the infrastructure needed to provide a full range of banking services, using AWS to run its core banking system. It’s now adding a range of best-in-class tools in compliance, fraud management, API services to accompany its existing capabilities.
Netbank is expected to launch its API platform within the next month. “Netbank will soon be able to ‘Make Payments’, ‘Open Accounts’, ‘Issue Loans’, and ‘Issue Cards’, all through APIs”, describes Dave dela Paz, Co-Founder, and Head of Netbank Virtual. “We can also provide a range of technology tools, such as a white-labelled app and customer interfaces.”
“Netbank is rapidly building its tools,” added Jaymar Mendoza, Co-Founder, and Head of Operations and Infrastructure. “We are already members of PesoNet and Instapay, we have built connections to cash agents, we look forward to expanding our card offering fast. The support of the BSP has been critical as we built out our services; the BSP has been active in promoting innovation.”
“We pride ourselves in solving problems and being fast”, explains Gus. “We are working with a team who will launch a Neo-Bank for OFWs in less than 2 months for a budget of $20,000. That has to be the fastest and cheapest in the world. At the same time, we are ready to work with the largest and most demanding fintech in the world – our systems are bullet-proof and totally scalable.”
The founding team has deep experience in the banking industry in the Philippines. Jaymar is a former CEO of a bank, Dave is a well-known leader in API-based banking, and Gus has run a bank-focused private equity fund in the Philippines, as well as professional experience with Barclays and Booz Allen.
Netbank has a strong social mission at its heart. “Too often the financial services companies that the poor use and trust are hampered by poor technology and higher costs. We can accelerate the digital transformation of these companies to lower their costs and broaden their banking services.”
Netbank is the first banking-as-a-service platform in Southeast Asia. It provides banking services, on a fully white-labelled basis; allowing Filipino fintechs to grow quickly whilst also reducing their costs; thus accelerating financial inclusion and innovation. It provides simple, creative, low-cost solutions so that fintechs can open accounts, offer loans and manage payments.