The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has ordered social media platform Lyka to halt its payment operations in the country.
Governor Benjamin Diokno, said in a briefing on Friday, July 24, that Lyka must register as a payment system operator and cited RA No. 11127 or the National Payment Systems Act.
Known for its payment system that allows users to purchase, exchange and use “gems” or electronic gift card through liking, posting, and sharing on the platform, Lyka rose to popularity in the Philippines following the influence of local celebrities.
Among the many Filipino celebrities who endorse Lyka include actress and YouTube content creator Ivana Alawi whose purchase of items worth millions including a car with a single tap on the app have drawn many to sign up as well.
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach also purchased a Mini Countryman S worth 3.85 million pesos using Lyka gems.
On the day the BSP announced the suspension of Lyka’s payment operations, celebrities and influencers such as Alex Gonzaga made posts on social media showing them using the app for various goods and services.
In a statement, Lyka US and Hong Kong said it fully supports the local operator and marketing arm of Lyka in the country, Digital Spring Marketing and Advertising.
Reassuring Lyka users, it added that Digital Spring is “continuously communicating with BSP regarding its OPS application.”
“Rest assured that Digital Spring will continue to fulfill its obligations with its partner merchants in parallel to its ongoing compliance with BSP’s requirements,” Lyka said in its statement.
It noted in its statement that BSP issued an OPS provisional certificate of registration to Digital Spring while it continues to full its obligations and complies with the requirements.
The Hong Kong-based company was launched in the Philippines in 2019.