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BayaniPay, a Manhattan Beach-based fintech startup that provides cross-border money transfers to Asian countries, has unveiled a new partnership with Pasadena-based East West Bank on a checking account product that will allow customers to bank with BayaniPay and should make it cheaper and easier for them to send money.
Since launching last summer, BayaniPay has focused its efforts allowing users to send money between the U.S. and the Philippines, which it describes as a $12 billion cross-border remittance market driven by the more than 2 million Filipinos living and working in the U.S. The startup partnered with BDO Unibank, the largest bank in the Philippines, enabling money sent from the U.S. to be received at thousands of bank branches and ATMs across the country.
Its new relationship with East West Bank paves BayaniPay’s path to “neo-bank” status by offering customers a no-minimum checking account, as well as a Visa debit card that will provide rewards like cash back at select grocery stores. BayaniPay—whose services are currently only available to California residents—said the partnership will allow users to send cross-border money transfers “at a faster speed.”
“It’s starting out as a remittance company but will end up to be a much more comprehensive digital bank—like a Chime, Monzo Bank or Revolut—specifically tailored for global professionals or immigrant families,” BayaniPay founder and CEO Winston Damarillo told dot.LA. “We can make [money transfers] at a very low cost through our partnership with East West Bank.”
Damarillo also leads Los Angeles-based venture studio Talino Venture Labs, which in addition to BayaniPay has seeded local fintech startups like Asenso Finance. A Silicon Valley veteran, Damarillo ran Intel’s venture capital arm in the 1990s before founding startups like Gluecode Software, which was acquired by IBM in 2005.
In teaming with East West, BayaniPay could also soon find a way to expand its services beyond the Philippines to other Asian countries, according to Damarillo. The Pasadena bank was established nearly 50 years ago to serve Los Angeles’ Chinese-American community and has a presence in China that allows customers to send money to the country.
East West has also invested in BayaniPay through the deal, which represents its first partnership with a neo-bank, according to East West executive vice president and chief operating officer Parker Shi.
Moving forward, Damarillo said BayaniPay plans to build partnerships with a network of restaurant and supermarket chains, which will both serve as physical hubs for sending money and provide its customers with discounts and rewards on purchases. One such partnership is with Pomona-based Filipino supermarket chain Seafood City, which operates more than 30 locations across the western U.S. and Canada.
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