Cashed up Peppermint launches new platforms ahead of electronic money licence in the Philippines
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Peppermint had a productive quarter despite the pandemic restrictions in the Philippines. The company is set to launch new integrated platforms in the next quarter as it awaits the approval of an electronic money license.
Fintech company Peppermint Innovation (ASX:PIL) has had a very productive last quarter, as it moves along an exciting phase of growth.
During the quarter, the company launched the ‘Phase 1′ commercial roll-out of its bizmoPay micro-enterprise loans platform in the Philippines.
The launch came following a regulatory licence approval in July, and an extremely successful three-month pilot program designed to test the platform.
Peppermint has also received a crucial notice from the Philippines regulator to proceed to Stage 3 of its Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) License application.
An EMI licence provides the opportunity for Peppermint to facilitate any e-money transaction in the Philippines, which could effectively turbocharge its capabilities in the digital transaction space, particularly when combined with the loans it’s already able to make.
To progress the EMI licence application, Peppermint successfully raised $5m in November, with a placement to sophisticated and professional investors at 2c a share.
Funds from the placement will mainly be used to satisfy the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stipulated paid-up capital requirements of Php 100m (~A$3m), a key criteria of PIL’s final stage EMI licence application.
“All of this was achieved during a period when much of the national capital region of the Philippines and nearby provinces remained under various levels of community quarantine restrictions imposed by the Filipino Government to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Peppermint CEO, Chris Kain.
The company also finished the quarter with a solid balance sheet, with $6.9m in the bank as at the end of December 2021.
The non-bank lending space in the Philippines is currently undergoing massive changes, especially in the mobile app space where users have exploded as more people access non-bank loan finance through their mobiles.
About 86% of the population use their mobile phones to access the internet, giving immediate demand for mobile phone app-based lenders and lending programs.
Peppermint’s bizmoPay’s app allows Filipinos to receive a micro-loan paid to their bizmoto e-wallet, as well as providing them with a convenient and secure way to receive digital money and access digital services.
The company’s engagement with Dragonpay, a payment gateway it signed a deal with last October, will also provide bizmoPay users with immediate access to a massive network of banks, EMI-wallet providers and remittance centres to undertake fund transfers and payments.
Essentially, Dragonpay is an aggregator of cash-in, fund transfers and payments services and will be a major enabler for bizmoto agents, riders and merchants to conduct their transactions.
Development work with Dragonpay will begin this month, and is expected to go live in the next quarter.
Other integration work currently underway include scoping work to enable digital and physical cash-in options on the bizmoto platform to work seamlessly with BPI, Cebuana Lhuillier and ECPay, which remains on track to go live this quarter.
Integration work with GCash as a payments’ facilitator is also continuing, and is expected to be launched in the next quarter.
Once the GCash offer is live, bizmoto agents, riders and merchants will have exposure to approximately 46 million registered GCash users throughout the Philippines.
A comprehensive marketing campaign to promote the benefits of bizmoPay’s services has been developed to target Peppermint’s 56,000 plus registered agents.
However, many of these marketing initiatives proposed for November and December of 2021 had to be delayed, due to ongoing community lockdowns and movement restrictions throughout the Philippines.
Peppermint estimates the impact of these COVID-19 related delays has added approximately two months onto the company’s forecast timelines.
“Many Filipinos remained indoors, adhering to community lockdowns and movement restrictions,” Kain explained.
“With the pandemic and Omicron situation now in the country, it has taken extra time to get things processed as there is no face to face contact, with skeletal staff present in government agencies such as the SEC,” he added.
As a result, the company had to pivot many of its marketing initiatives towards online and digital assets, producing a range of video and social media contents pitched at attracting new customers to the bizmoPay platform.
Peppermint also focused more on telemarketing rather than physical events to connect with the bizmoto agent base and bizmoto ecosystem participants.
Peppermint has progressed its regulatory application process for an EMI licence to Stage 3.
All required documentation for Stage 3 has been submitted and on January 24th, and the company has delivered an in-depth system demonstration to the Bangko Sentral Ng Pilipinas (BSP) who are assessing the licence application.
An EMI licence provides the opportunity to facilitate any e-money transaction and service open-loop e-wallet accounts, providing all Filipinos, not just bizmoto agents, with a convenient and secure way to receive digital money and services.
“Overall, Peppermint is well funded to continue along our exciting growth trajectory, consider new opportunities that may present and satisfy all associated working capital requirements,” Kain commented on the successful quarter.
This article was developed in collaboration with Peppermint, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.