BSP Should Allow LYKA to Operate

On July 23, 2021, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas orders Digital Spring Marketing and Advertising Inc., the marketing arm of the LYKA app in the Philippines, to halt its payment services and invited LYKA’s mother company to register as an operator of payment system (OPS). Currently, LYKA has 10,000,000 users.

In an interview with Rappler, the BSP said, “The operators of LYKA have already expressed their willingness to register with the BSP as an OPS.”

On October 12, in a Manila Times article, LYKA said “Instead of challenging the BSP's decision before a judicial forum, LYKA has determined that the fastest resolution to the matter is to simply commence the registration of its own Philippine entity as an OPS, including setting up its own Philippine operations and equipping it with the best talent possible," they emphasized.

 BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno told Manila Standard on November 23 that The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is in discussions with the Hong Kong-based LYKA /Things I Like Co. Ltd. (TIL) over an application to register as an operator of payment system in the country.

What is LYKA?

LYKA is a popular app in the Philippines owned by a HK-based company that allowed people to earn LYKA GEMs or gift cards in electronic mode for posting, sharing, and liking content. These GEMs could be used to purchase goods.

It’s a free social media platform that allows users to connect, discover new material, share interests, share photos, and allows chat function with other users. It revolves around a Digital Point System, which rewards users for engagement on the platform. Users may receive a LYKA GEM for well-rated posts, uploading content and spending time on the app.

Celebrities and social media personalities have posted photos showing that they were able to purchase cars and other items through GEMs.

Benefits of LYKA 

Not only for celebrities, but normal Filipinos can also gain gems from this app. LYKA rewards its users for engagement and content creation. By using the traditional social media apps, they earn from you and your data. By using LYKA, it’s the other way around. You earn from using the app.

LYKA users earn by just posting, giving ratings to others or simply by being rated.

LYKA has more than 28,000 partner merchants. The app was also able to penetrate mom-and-pop stores, public market vendors, cab drivers, street vendors and the likes.

Users can easily interact to other users and give them GEMs as gifts and at the same time earn GEMs when they post on the app. These GEMs can be used to pay for products and services, buy items from the LYKA MALL and LYKA GROCERY, as well as for paying bills and other electronic loads.

BSP, Bring LYKA GEMs payment back, please! 

The effort of LYKA Philippines to secure BSP registration as OPS is a clear indication that they mean business! BSP did not stop LYKA’s operations as a social media app and I hope BSP will allow them to operate full time as soon as possible so a lot of Filipinos can benefit and experience LYKA's reward system. This can help us Pinoys especially right now during this pandemic. 

Just imagine the number of jobs LYKA PHILIPPINES would create if only Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas would allow them to operate full-time here in the country. 

Just like my high school classmate, Marco, he was able to purchase rubber shoes, milk tea, and even grocery items thru the app. For free! At first, I thought that normal Filipinos (read: not celebrities) will not be able to earn enough gems to buy something from the app because they are not famous or influential enough. 

That classmate of mine made me believe in the app that's why I signed up too! This is the reason why I want LYKA to operate full-time here in the Philippines. Many Filipinos that are using LYKA as an alternative social media app are eagerly waiting for LYKA GEM’s big comeback.

JL Santiago Aquino

A millennial lifestyle blogger from Caloocan City who adores trying new things. ✨ Email: Follow @JayL_Aquino on Instagram, Twitter, TikTok & Facebook.

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