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UNObank Becomes the First Filipino Fintech To Receive a Digital Banking License

Singapore headquartered fintech DigibankASIA Pte. Ltd., one of the primary incorporators of UNObank, has received approval from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to operate a digital bank in the Philippines.

The first fintech to receive a license outright to operate a digital bank, UNObank will be entirely regulated under the Digital Banking License framework in the Philippines.

DigibankASIA Pte. Ltd. is co-founded by three executives who collectively have extensive experience across banking, capital markets, treasury, lending, digitalisation, and technology. UNObank will be helmed by Manish Bhai as CEO, a career banker, and tech entrepreneur. Co-founder Kalidas Ghose is a recognised fintech influencer who led the effort to build FE Credit in Vietnam from scratch and created VP Banks‘ digital bank ecosystem. Puneet Gupta, Co-founder & CTO is an acclaimed deep tech innovator known for building cutting-edge digital products and platforms.

“As a fintech company, we are based in Singapore to tap the vibrant fintech community here for the latest in innovation and technological development,” comments Puneet Gupta. “We are in the midst of building a robust, highly secure digital banking platform for UNObank. We are ensuring that the technology we use has the flexibility to create unique customised solutions that will enhance the user experience and add immense value to those Filipinos communities that are currently unserved and underserved.”

With UNObank, the founders aim to help bridge the financial inclusion gap in the Philippines and eventually Southeast and South Asia. UNO means ‘one’ and sets the premise for a digital bank that offers one app and one card to enable anyone anywhere in the Philippines to save, borrow, transact, invest, and protect their finances easily, with speed and ease.

UNObank is being built on a robust technology stack that includes products and services from highly regarded tech industry leaders including Mambu, Backbase, and AWS.

Manish Bhai, CEO, UNOBank
Manish Bhai, CEO, UNOBank

“The BSP’s vision and foresight to digitise 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,” comments Manish Bhai, CEO of UNOBank. “We are very grateful to the BSP and honoured by the trust placed in our team.”

“Long term, our goal is to bridge the gap to financial inclusion. With UNObank, we are building the first full-spectrum digital bank to service those with unmet financial needs in Southeast and South Asia.”

“Singapore’s underlying ethos is that fintech should drive innovation, inclusion, and inspiration; to possess purpose to improve lives, and to build a dynamic economy and inclusive society. These are the tenets that UNObank embraces and strives to represent. That is why we chose Singapore as our group headquarters,” reiterates Bhai.


  • Tyler is a fintech journalist with specific interests in online banking and emerging AI technologies. He began his career writing with a plethora of national and international publications.

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