Peppermint Innovation Ltd (Peppermint), an Australia-based FinTech firm, announced Wednesday the company has been granted a license to operate as an electronic money issuer (EMI) by the Central Bank of the Philippines Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP).

The EMI license authorises the company to deliver e-wallet services through its bizmoto mobile app allowing any Filipino, not just bizmoto agents, to use the bizmoto platform to receive digital money and access digital services, Peppermint said in a statement.

The accreditation also allows Peppermint and bizmoto users to join the 38.88 million Filipinos that are transacting digitally, following bizmoto’s integration with fund transfers services such as InstaPay and PESONet and with non-banking institutions for cash-in and cash-out services.

According to the statement, the EMI license significantly extends the Peppermint’s opportunity to reach micro-entrepreneurs and provide digital payments for their businesses. They also can apply for bizmoPay loans, purchase bizmoProtect micro-insurance policies and future bizmoto platform products and services.

Peppermint also aims to connect marginalized Filipinos such as farmers, fishermen and micro-small- medium entrepreneurs, as well as people living on day-to-day pay cheques so they can safely and more quickly receive their salaries, pension, social security benefits and other government financial assistance monies.

The company will soon start work on a pilot program with a local community to facilitate financial inclusion by encouraging members to become bizmoto users so they can immediately access digital and mobile payments as an alternative to cash transactions within their community.

“The issuance of an EMI licence for Peppermint will, ultimately, deliver significant value to the Company and to the communities we operate in. Clearly, the digital revolution is with us and the bizmoto platform can now facilitate any e-money transaction and service open-loop e-wallet accounts, providing Filipinos with a convenient and secure way to receive digital money and services,” said Peppermint Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chris Kain.

According to him, every Filipino now has the opportunity to access a wide range of goods and services from the bizmoto platform, as well as apply for a bizmoPay loan, which gets paid directly to their bizmoto e-wallet to enable seamless transactions across the bizmoto ecosystem.

He also said that the issuance of an EMI licence to Peppermint affirms the company’s previously stated three- phase business strategy. We always said one of our operational objectives was to obtain an EMI licence and it has now achieved that milestone.

“We are grateful to the BSP for entrusting Peppermint with an EMI licence, especially given its decision last December to impose a two-year ban on issuing any further non-bank or bank-owned EMI’s to ensure a ‘liquidity-strong’ digital payments sector,

“We’re excited to share the BSP’s vision2 that 50 percent of all retail transactions that occur throughout the Philippines are digital by 2023, and that 70 percent of Filipino adults have formal accounts by 2023,” he said.

The BSP said this shift can be made by offering customers faster and more affordable payment options that provide greater convenience – which is exactly what the Peppermint-powered bizmoto platform is all about, he added.

“Peppermint is committed to digital financial inclusion by, providing digital access to services that benefit the unserved and underserved population and contribute to the continued increase of digital money adoption throughout the Philippines,” he said.

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