MANILA, Philippines — Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas directed social media app Lyka to stop functioning as a payments system without proper registration, said Bangko Sentral Governor Benjamion Diokno Friday.
Lyka users can monetize engagement on their accounts by earning GEMs (gift cards in electronic mode) that they can use to pay for most services from food to salon treatments to luxury cars.
“Today, the BSP has directed Lyka to suspend activities as an OPS (operator of payment system) and invited the company to apply for registration with the BSP before it is allowed to continue with its OPS activities.”Bangko Sentral Governor Benjamion Diokno
“It has come to our knowledge that Lyka, a social media platform launched in the Philippines by a Hong Kong-based company, allows its users to purchase, exchange, and use GEMs as payment for goods and services. The monetary board has ascertained that these activities make Lyka an OPS,” he said.
Lyka operators have expressed willingness to register with BSP, said Diokno.
The central bank said OPS enables sellers to accept payments, in cash or digital form, through cash-in service providers, bills payment service providers, payment gateways, payment facilitators and more.
BSP reminded the public to carry out transactions only with registered OPS. Being registered means the central bank assures an OPS is safe, efficient and reliable, it said.