Digital financial services leader PayMaya has launched its cryptocurrency (crypto) feature through its all-in-one finance app experience, enabling Filipinos to easily buy and earn digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum for as low as P1.
The new offering is part of the company’s thrust to go beyond payments by making financial services like crypto more accessible to the general public.
PayMaya is both an electronic money issuer (EMI) and virtual asset services provider (VASP), licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).
For consumers, buying and earning crypto can be challenging due the need to use multiple apps with separate registration processes and experiences. But PayMaya has make it easier to get into crypto by providing an all-in-one experience.
There is no need to register for another account, apply for an upgrade, or use another app. Unlike other e-wallets and apps, customers can learn to use crypto, cash in to their wallets, buy and sell coins, and spend their crypto earnings, all in their PayMaya account.
Upgraded PayMaya users can trade in a variety of the most popular coins directly from their PayMaya wallet in Philippine pesos.
They can also seamlessly buy and sell crypto anytime with no extra cash in and cash out fees. The feature is fully integrated into the app experience, providing convenience at the back of its secure platform and 99.9 percent app uptime rate.
“We are very excited to launch this feature, a big step up in making crypto accessible to every Filipino through their PayMaya app. Being at the forefront of digital payments and financial services, expanding into crypto is part of our roadmap as we build the Philippines’ most accessible end-to-end money platform,” said Shailesh Baidwan, President of PayMaya.
PayMaya is currently rolling out the feature progressively to its base. Aside from bitcoin and ethereum, other popular coins and tokens available for trading in the PayMaya app are Cardano (ADA), Chainlink (LINK), Uniswap (UNI), Solana (SOL), Quant (QNT), Polkadot (DOT), Polygon (MATIC), and Tether (USDT), with more coming soon.
Cryptocurrency ownership and usage in the Philippines have grown exponentially in the past years based on the Statista Global Consumer Survey data from 2019 to 2021. The country ranked 3rd in a list of 56, with nearly three out of ten Filipino respondents to Statista’s survey mentioning they either owned or used a digital coin.
In a briefing in December, the BSP said transactions in virtual currency, including cryptocurrency, jumped by 71 percent to almost P106 billion in the first half of 2021, compared to P62.12 billion in the previous year. The number of transactions grew 4.6 times, reaching nearly 20 million for the same period.
With crypto’s growing popularity, the BSP strengthened regulation in early 2021 to cover more types of VASPs and better guard against risks. VASPs are subject to the BSP’s licensing requirements, including rules governing money service businesses and strict anti-money laundering obligations.
PayMaya secured its VASP license from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) in January this year. A VASP is an entity that offers services or engages in activities “that provide facility for the transfer or exchange of virtual assets,” as defined by the BSP Circular No. 1108 on Guidelines for Virtual Asset Service Providers. Virtual assets include cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
PayMaya’s crypto expansion is not its first foray into enabling this new technology. As the largest enterprise payment processor for everyday merchants, the company has allowed other crypto platforms and apps to accept top-ups from Philippine-based wallets and cards since 2020.
As of end-December 2021, it provides more than 44 million Filipinos access to financial services through its consumer platforms.