Show me the money! Lyka tells desperate restaurant owners seeking to encash GEMs: We will get BSP license in next 2 weeks

Show me the money! Lyka tells desperate restaurant owners seeking to encash GEMs: We will get BSP license in next 2 weeks

Social media and shopping app Lyka is confident it will get its much sought-after operator of payment system (OPS) license from the Bangko Sentral n Pilipinas by the end of January or the first week of February this year.

LYKA made the announcement to assuage big and small restaurants and other merchants who have long demanded the liquidation of their hoard of GEMS (gift cards in electronic mode) or virtual money earned by users on the app and to pay for food orders and other goods and services at partner merchants of the app.

The Babbler said the BSP had reminded LYKA CEO Ryan Baird in the first week of December 2021 that it should stop selling or encashing GEMS as long as its cease and desist order was still in effect.

Registration of an OPS allows the BSP to supervise the payment system to ensure that its functions safely, efficiently and reliably by itself for the protection of consumers.

“As much as we want to accommodate our users and merchant partners, we believe that the compliance with the said order is of utmost importance and will benefit all parties in the long run,” said Reid who noted that the company was in close coordination with both the BSP and Securities and Exchange Commission on its operating status.

Baird apologize to its subscribers and 28,000 business partners for the inconvenience and assured that it was determined to continue its operations in the country and that it would honor all GEMs that have been collected by its members.

According to the babbler, restaurants and food stores, both big and small, were the biggest holders of unliquidated GEMs (one GEM is equal to one peso).

“These restaurants were so desperate to keep their businesses alive during the pandemic that they agreed to take GEMs as payments for food deliveries. But now that they need to get cash to continue their business, Lyka is refusing to encash these GEMS.

The Babbler said Lyka is a Hong Kong-based company that is bankrolled by a Russian financier and a scandal-tainted Filipino businessman.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, Baird admitted that Lyka took off during the pandemic because of the boom in food delivery from Filipinos forced to stay at home.

“That made a big impact on businesses that needed the business,” he said Baird explained that they chose the Philippines as a launching pad because Filipinos earn an average of $500 to $600 a month and getting an extra $100 every month (by just joining its app, building a friends network, playing its games and buying from its store) would make a big impact for them.


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