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Philippine digital banks target $140bn retail deposit market

Six online-only upstarts set to challenge big financial institutions

Tonik is one of six digital banks courting 70% of Filipino adults who do not have bank accounts. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)

MANILA -- Tonik Digital Bank in the Philippines welcomes new clients with a love letter: "Your traditional banking ends here. Your neobanking romance starts now." The bank calls accountholders "luv" and offers higher interest rates on deposits to help customers "move on and get over your Ex (bank)."

Tonik has won over 100,000 hearts since launching in March. In its first month, the company pulled in more than one billion pesos ($20 million) in retail deposits, which to date total over 4.4 billion pesos.

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