BSP cancels registration of Lyka local partner

Published July 27, 2021, 4:57 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has cancelled the registration of Lyka/Things I Like Company Ltd. (TIL) local partner, Digital Spring Marketing and Advertising Inc. (Digital Spring) on July 27.

The cancellation of Digital Spring’s provisional certificate of registration was approved by the BSP five days after Lyka’s cease and desist order as an unregistered operator of payment system (OPS) in the Philippines.

Based on a BSP memo (Circular Letter No. CL-2021-060), the Monetary Board has ordered the cancellation of Digital Spring’s registration “without prejudice to other regulatory actions, orders and directives that BSP may undertake pursuant to its powers under the NPSA (National Payment Systems Act).” BSP Deputy Governor Mamerto E. Tangonan signed the memo.

The BSP also issued a reminder to all BSP supervised financial institutions or BSFIs, as per the Guidelines on Sound Risk Management Practices in Dealings with OPS and Non-Bank Electronic Money Issuers or EMIs (Memorandum No. M-2021-021), that they should only deal with BSP-registered OPS or licensed non-bank EMIs.

Hong Kong-based Lyka/TIL was ordered to stop its business in the Philippines on July 22, under Monetary Board Resolution No. 961. It is suspended from operating as an OPS in the Philippines without registration.

The BSP has ordered Lyka/TIL to “take immediate action to register with BSP” under NPSA or Republic Act No. 11127, and as part of provisions under BSP Circular No. 1049 which details the OPS registration rules.

As for Digital Spring — which the BSP described as a participant of the Lyka/TIL payment system – the marketing and advertising company has been ordered as well to “cease and desist from performing cash-in service, merchant accreditation and settlement process, among others, on behalf of Lyka/TIL until the latter properly registers as an (OPS) in accordance with the NPSA and other applicable implementing rules and regulations.”

Lyka/TIL is a social media platform in the Philippines which allows its users to purchase, exchange, and use Gift Cards in electronic mode or GEMs as payment for goods and services.

BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno announced last Friday that pending Lyka/TIL’s registration application, it is not allowed to operate as an OPS in the country.

Diokno said Lyka/TIL has expressed their willingness to register with the BSP as an OPS. The BSP defines OPS as cash-in service providers, bills payment service providers, and entities such as payment gateways, platform providers, payment facilitators and merchant acquirers that enable sellers of goods and services to accept payments, in cash or digital form.

The BSP regularly issues public advisories reminding financial consumers to transact only with BSP-registered OPS which are listed on its website.