UnionDigital Bank taps gaming content provider

UnionDigital Bank Inc. has entered into a partnership with Singapore-based Nexus Enterprise Technologies Pte. Ltd. (Nexplay), which manages e-sports teams and video game content platform, to sell digital financial services to Filipino gamers.

UnionDigital Bank CEO Ramon Vicente V. De Vera said the partnership allows the bank to offer Filipino gamers access to a digital bank account.

De Vera was quoted in a statement as saying the digital lender is “driven to further empower the Philippines’s digital economy.”

“We are looking forward to this collaboration with Nexplay to propel our higher purpose: ‘tech-ing up’ today’s generation of Filipinos, especially gamers.”

“Nexplay opens opportunities for us to engage our country’s digital natives in platforms they are quite familiar with: games. This is particularly important if you consider the rise of play-to-earn gaming and content streaming in the Philippines,” he said.

In 2019, about 43 million Filipino gamers spent a total $572 million on games, some 80 percent of whom were engaged with in-game micro-transactions, such as buying power-ups and game cosmetics.

The following year, revenue generated by the online gaming industry sat at $24 million.

As cashless payment methods grow in prominence due in part to the pandemic, UnionDigital Bank, a unit of Aboitiz-led Union Bank of the Philippines Inc., said it sees an opportunity to empower Filipino gamers by providing more accessible financial solutions not limited to traditional deposit accounts and debit cards.

On the other hand, Nexplay, which is being led by a Filipino, is scaling its business in the Philippines. After reporting a 150 percent year-on-year revenue growth early this year, Nexplay is gearing up to develop its own Web3 IP, which is a new wave of crypto currency, in the digital gaming space.

It claims to have a “community” of 250 million video game enthusiasts, young professional esports athletes, over 400 content creators and a portfolio of more than 200 brands and clients.

“Our mission has always been helping gamers succeed,” Nexplay CEO Gabriel Paulo Benito was quoted in the statement as saying. “Working with UnionDigital Bank will help crystallize this combined vision of making financial services more accessible to our massive gaming community, our fans, our teams and our talents to enrich their digital experience. Together, we are committed to encourage greater financial inclusion within the rapidly growing gaming community in the Philippines, especially the next-generation gamers.”

Both firms, however, declined to state how much revenues they expect from the partnership.