Fintech start-up bags $4.5M from investors

FINANCIAL technology (fintech) firm Bayani Pay Inc. announced having raised $4.5 million in a seed funding round led by Talino Venture Labs Pte. Ltd., Wavemaker Partners Global Ltd. and East West Bank of America.

BayaniPay CEO Winston Damarillo, who announced the development at a news event last Wednesday evening, said that the fresh funding will enable the fintech to grow its suite of services and expand its customer base to enterprises.

Damarillo expressed “excitement” on the growth of the California, United States-headquartered firm.

“Our ongoing efforts are driven by the desire to eliminate the financial hardships of new immigrants and minority communities,” he added.

Wavemaker Partners Managing Partner Frederick T. Manlunas said the group sees a huge opportunity in the remittance and payments market, given that the need for cross-border payment solutions have become “more urgent,” especially with the “painful and expensive” fees that are charged to remitters.

“BayaniPay is addressing this pain point with their suite of payment solutions that simplify the various types of remittances,” Manlunas said. “Whether the need is peer-to-peer, consumer-to-business or business-to-business, BayaniPay has created intuitive solutions to make this payment journey a simple and cost effective exercise.”

East West Bank of America President and CEO Parker Shi said the investment that the financial institution made in BayaniPay reflects its belief in the strong collaboration that started between the two groups earlier this year.

BayaniPay contracted with East West Bank, the largest independent bank headquartered in Southern California, to offer Filipino American customers banking services, including a Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) insured checking account.

Shi said they “applaud BayaniPay’s progress in using our digital banking technology to provide omnichannel banking as a service to underserved customers.”

“This means that BayaniPay customers can enjoy the same quality of service, whether they’re banking with their mobile devices or transacting at their local East West Bank branch,” Shi added. Aside from this, Damarillo said BayaniPay has strengthened its partnership with BDO Unibank Inc. to enable the first cross-border digital payments and remittance services between the US and the Philippines.

BayaniPay is collaborating with BDO Unibank to enable its users in the US to directly pay services in the Philippines through paycode technologies.

Local businesses and services can simply provide Filipino-American customers paycodes that they can use for easy and convenient cross-border payment of bills, tuition and school fees, medical expenses and even real estate.

Damarillo said the opportunity for the market is huge, given that Filipino-Americans account for $146 billion of the Asian-American market.

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