Asia Digest: Cermati launches banking tech platform; Lyka ordered to halt ops

Photo: REUTERS/Garry Lotulung

Indonesia’s fintech firm Cermati Fintech Group announced launching a BaaS platform that will embed banking services in e-commerce major Blibli’s website. In a separate development,  the central bank in the Philippines has ordered social media platform Lyka to halt its operations until it secures registration as an operator of payments system.

Indonesia’s Cermati Fintech Group launches banking tech platform

Cermati Fintech Group (CFG), one of Indonesia’s integrated financial technology companies, is launching a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) technology platform that will embed banking services in e-commerce major Blibli’s website.

The integration of banking services in an e-commerce platform is the first of its kind in Indonesia, the firm said. Cermati has teamed up with digital bank BCA Digital and Blibli for the offering that will embed banking services in addition to insurance and BNPL services.

The integration within Blibli will allow users to open an account, transfer funds, or make an app and QRIS payment, without the need to download or switch to another app, CFG said in a statement.

Last year, Cermati partnered with Blibli to launch Blibli Paylater, a BNPL-as-a-service powered by Indodana.

“It’s a natural progression to expand the partnership with Blibli, through partnership with BCA Digital, to offer banking services… Embedding banking services within one of the largest e-commerce ecosystem is the manifestation of our commitment to leveraging technology in increasing financial inclusion in Indonesia,” said CFG CEO Andhy Koesnandar.

CFG owns and operates a group of fintech companies that serve over 20 million Indonesians. Cermati.com, for instance, is the highest-trafficked financial marketplace in the country.

PH central bank orders Lyka to halt operations

The central bank of the Philippines has ordered social media platform Lyka to suspend its business as an operator of payments system (OPS) pending the necessary registration.

Lyka is a popular app in the Philippines owned by a Hong Kong-based company that allowed people to earn Lyka GEMs or gift cards in electronic mode for posting, sharing, and liking content. These GEMs could be used to purchase goods.

However, the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas said these activities make Lyka an OPS and thus is required to register with the central bank.

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said the BSP ordered Lyka to suspend its activities as an OPS and invited the company to apply for registration before it can be allowed to continue with its activities.

Lyka’s marketing arm in the Philippines, Digital Spring Marketing and Advertising Inc, said it is continuously communicating with the BSP regarding its OPS application. It added that the firm will continue to fulfill its obligations with its partner merchants in the country.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.