ROBINSONS BANK Corp. expects its merchant acquiring business to be approved by the central bank within the month as it aims to expand its product offering and maximize its big retail ecosystem.
Robinsons Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Elfren Antonio S. Sarte said the Gokongwei-led lender is waiting the approval of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) to accept credit and debit card payments.
“We are still waiting for the BSP approval. We are hoping to get MB (Monetary Board) approval within the month,” Mr. Sarte told BusinessWorld in a text message on Friday.
A merchant acquiring bank is a lender that processes credit and debit card transactions on behalf of a merchant. Mr. Sarte said the bank wants to venture into accepting card payments to complement its credit card business.
“One of the strong [motivations] is we are completing our product offering having launched our credit card issuing business,” the bank president said.
The lender recently introduced Robinsons Dos Mastercard, a credit card that enables holders to pay in two-month installments without added interest and minimum amount required.
Mr. Sarte noted that the bank wants to maximize its “big retail ecosystem” where it can deploy point-of-sale (POS) credit and debit card payment services to the retail network via its parent firms which controls a number of retail assets.
Aside from Robinsons Malls, it will also market the acquiring terminals to other retailers.
Robinsons Bank is the financial services arm of the JG Summit Group. According to its website, the lender is 60% owned by JG Summit Capital Services Corp. and 40% by Robinsons Retail Holdings, Inc.
Mr. Sarte said the bank did not inject any capital into the merchant acquiring business venture. “No [capital expenditure] — our model is fee-sharing with our POS provider.”
Robinsons Bank’s net income reached P201.8 million in the first half of 2018, up 33.9% from the same period last year.
It is currently licensed as a commercial lender and is the 19th biggest in the industry in asset terms as of end-March, data from the central bank showed. — Karl Angelo N. Vidal