Monday, 15 April 2024

Maya to expand into MSME lending

5 min read

By Chris Kapfer and Sheena Marie Gaboy

Philippines-based Maya Bank serves over 1.8 million monthly active users and plans to leverage its platform of 40 million users

  • Leveraging technology and ecosystem for 360-degree relationship
  • Focus on Maya platform for growth
  • Building credit and loan offerings in MSME sector

Maya Bank, the digital-only bank of Voyager Innovation, is expanding its financial services to the small-business sector in the Philippines. The bank plans to leverage technology with a focus on consumer banking, enterprise payments and banking for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME). Voyager also owns the payment platform Maya that has over 40 million users.

Leveraging technology and ecosystem using 360-degree relationship

While the bank is the leading deposit-taking digital bank, it has yet to fully leverage the credit needs of its MSME customer base. Maya aims to better leverage its user base to reach small businesses.

Maya garnered $210 million in funding and had a total valuation of $1.4 billion in 2022. The digital bank ranked third among the six digital banks in the country according to the TABInsights 2023 Global Top 100 Digital Bank ranking, and ranked 88 in the Global Top 100 Digital-only Bank ranking. It started operations in June 2022 has over 1.8 million monthly active users, PHP 21 billion ($380 million) in deposits and PHP 10.8 billion ($196 million) in total loans disbursed as of June 2023.

Focus on PayMaya for growth

While its user base seems large compared to other digital banks—for instance, UNOBank had fewer than 500,000 users as of June 2023, while UnionDigital had 1.73 million—one would expect Maya to have exceeded five million users by now given that its Maya platform boasts over 40 million users. Tapping more effectively into its existing payments user base has become Maya’s strategic objective for 2023 and 2024.

Maya is currently the top digital bank in attracting deposits among the six digital banks in the Philippines, and it claims that it has a positive net interest margin. The bank positions itself as an all-in-one digital bank by emphasising the integration with its various platforms including deposit, credit and its core business payments with banking.

It introduced a 360-degree relationship-based deposit account called Maya Savings, where users can earn up 10% per annum interest, credited daily, depending how many services they use in the Maya ecosystem. Under its deposit product, Maya offers a goal-based savings account that allows users to create different sets of savings under one deposit account.

Building credit and loan offerings in the MSME sector

Maya is also building micro-credit facilities for its current user base and merchants already registered on its payments platform by expanding loans and credit offerings such as buy-now-pay-later and instalment loans. The bank will also be launching a flexi loan product.

It will have to leverage its technology and ecosystem to achieve economies of scale. Most of the digital-only banks in the Philippines have developed capabilities in MSME financing, focusing mainly on consumer loans, while traditional banks target corporate lending. MSME financing remains a small part in the overall portfolio, accounting for only 7% in the industry, with 70% corporate lending and the rest consumer lending.

Maya claims it was the top merchant acquirer in 2022 and has onboarded more than one million merchants as of June 2023.

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