Voyager expanding overseas
Industry giant PLDT Inc. is making good on its plan to take unit Voyager Innovations Inc., best known for its Paymaya mobile wallet service, to other markets in the region by 2018.
Orlando Vea, CEO of Voyager, told reporters late Thursday that the company was targeting two to three markets in Asia as expansion areas by the second quarter of next year.
The expansion, initially anticipated in 2017, would involve all or some of Voyager’s various platforms, which lean heavily toward fintech and e-commerce.
Vea declined to name the markets to be covered and the platforms that would be introduced overseas, but he noted that Paymaya, currently making a big push in the domestic QR code scan to pay service, was among its more “advanced” products.
He said Voyager would have a local partner in every new market it would enter.
The move overseas came as PLDT chair and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said there were talks for a potential strategic partner to come into Voyager, including Chinese groups.
PLDT’s main rival, Globe Telecom, earlier this year saw the entry of Chinese tycoon and Alibaba founder Jack Ma into its unit, Globe Fintech Innovations.
Vea did not comment on any talks with strategic partners, but said there would be clear benefits for Voyager should a deal be closed.
Among these, he said, were new markets, technologies, products and management expertise in these areas.
Companies see big growth in the fintech space, given the vast majority of the Filipino population without access to traditional banking services.
PLDT, through subsidiary Smart Communications, has invested about P5.5 billion in Voyager as of end-2016, the company’s latest annual report showed. Voyager was established in 2013.
Paymaya said it was the leading nonbank payments company here, with over eight million accounts, which combined Paymaya and Smart Money as of the third quarter of 2017. Vea said Paymaya also provided business services, such as handling third-party digital transactions for a fee.
Voyager’s other products include Lendr, a digital lending platform that has cornered around 15 percent, or over P25 billion, of salary loans across the country.
It also powers TackThis! and Takatack. These platforms allow merchants to easily build their retail presence online.
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