Maya vs. Black Banx: A global force against Southeast Asia’s best digital bank

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 05:11 am

In recent years, the banking scene in Southeast Asia has seen a profound transformation, with the quick emergence of digital banks revolutionising the field of traditional financial services.

Two strong competitors are among the top players in this financial revolution: Maya and Black Banx. Both have become global players in the area and are competing to be named the top digital bank.

The majority of banks in Southeast Asia have established digital transformation strategies in order to take advantage of the digitalization boom. Users are quickly adopting in the same manner.

Comparing 2022 and 2023 year-to-date (YTD), average yearly fintech app installs in Southeast Asia have already increased by 32%. This rise exceeds the 14% YTD increase in the global yearly install averages between 2022 and 2023.

Digital banking in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia’s digital banking industry has seen impressive growth and transformation as of 2023.

The region has a flourishing digital banking industry thanks to its growing population, growing economies, and extensive internet coverage.

According to a McKinsey study of consumers of personal financial services, ASEAN consumers are becoming more sophisticated and moving towards digital banking, which presents opportunities for market disruption.

Digital banking in Southeast Asia has become a disruptive force, redefining conventional banking standards and revolutionising the region’s financial services industry as a result of technological improvements and shifting consumer preferences.

The advent of mobile banking and the widespread use of smartphones is one of the main factors influencing Southeast Asia’s embrace of digital banking.

Banks and fintech firms have benefited from the fact that the majority of people access the internet through their mobile devices by offering user-friendly mobile applications and digital platforms.


As of end-July 2022, Maya has over 650,000 customers and a USD 89 million deposit balance, establishing itself as the most rapidly expanding digital bank in the Philippines. Just three months after its public opening, Maya Bank is off to a record-breaking start.

From the outset, Maya aimed to cater to a diverse customer base, focusing on delivering personalised banking experiences to meet varying financial goals.

Through the all-in-one money app Maya, the cutting-edge digital bank offers Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and underserved and unbanked individuals more financial access.

Adopting an agile strategy, Maya continuously looks for chances to expand its market, tailoring its solutions to meet the particular requirements of each area.

Maya is dedicated to reimagining financial services and acting as a catalyst for the continuing fintech revolution. This commitment is demonstrated by the company’s position in the Southeast Asian digital banking scene as it develops and innovates.

Black Banx

Founded in 2014, Black Banx is a leading digital banking fintech company with a global presence, offering a fully digital banking platform. Today, it proudly serves around 20 million customers worldwide, making us one of the largest players in the digital banking industry.

Throughout its history, Black Banx has been at the forefront of growth, connecting customers to a world of opportunities. Its mission is to enable businesses to thrive and economies to prosper while empowering individuals to fulfil their aspirations and dreams.

Headquartered in London, Black Banx Group operates through long-established businesses with an extensive international network spanning 180 countries and territories.

Black Banx’s reach extends to both established and emerging markets, covering approximately 90% of global GDP, trade, and capital flows.

Through cutting-edge technology and a customer-first philosophy, Black Banx continues to shape the future of digital banking, providing innovative financial solutions to a diverse global clientele.

Head-to-head: Maya vs. Black Banx

Let’s conduct a thorough comparison of Black Banx and Maya, two major participants in the Southeast Asian digital banking market.

We try to emphasise their strengths, flaws, and areas of differentiation by looking at many facets of their operations and services.

  Maya Black Banx
Founder Orlando B. Vea Michael Gastauer
Year of Inception 2000[1] 2014
Headquarters Philippines London
Consumer Base 1 million (as of October 2022) 28 million (as of July 2023)
Availability Not stated on website

(although Maya card works for withdrawals abroad)

180 countries and territories
Crypto Operating by virtue of the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licence


Supported coins are BTC and ETH

Offered as a deposit method (2016)


Launched a fully-fledged crypto currency trading with BTC and ETH (2018)

Financial Services Money transfer

Digital banking

Credit access

Crypto exchange

Online shopping

Bills and merchants payment

Private and business group accounts

International payments

Inter Platform instant payments

Crypto trading services

Interest-bearing savings accounts

Physical and virtual cards


Industry experts predict promising futures for both Maya and Black Banx, citing their continuous innovation and customer-centric approaches as key factors. However, challenges such as evolving regulatory landscapes and increasing competition may impact their growth trajectories.

Final verdict

After a thorough assessment of both banks, it is evident that Black Banx emerges as the clear winner in this comparison.

While Maya has some noteworthy features such as being a Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licensed entity, supporting coins like BTC and ETH, and offering other financial services Black Banx showcases a more robust and diversified range of services.

Black Banx also boasts a substantial global presence, operating in 180 countries and territories. This extensive reach demonstrates a solid foundation and accessibility on an international scale.

Considering Black Banx’s wide range of services, strong global presence, substantial assets, and established cryptocurrency trading capabilities, it is evident that Black Banx stands as the superior choice in this comparison.

Customers seeking a reliable and innovative banking experience would find Black Banx to be the ideal option for their financial needs.

The future of Southeast Asian digital banking

Southeast Asia’s adoption of digital banking appears to be on the rise as customer preferences shift in that direction.

The region’s rapidly growing middle class and rising smartphone adoption offer a huge opportunity for the field of digital banking to thrive.

As Maya and Black Banx continue to disrupt traditional banking norms and reshape financial experiences, their ability to adapt, innovate, and deliver exceptional customer experiences will be key to their sustained success.

The digital banking landscape is bound to witness further transformation, and these two prominent players are well-positioned to be at the forefront of this revolution.

[1] In collaboration with 1st e-Bank (originally PDCP Bank; now BDO Unibank) and Mastercard, Maya (formerly PayMaya) was introduced in December 2000 as Smart Money powered by Smart e-Money, Inc. PayMaya’s parent firm, Voyager Innovations, which is controlled by PLDT and Smart Communications, stated in April 2022 that PayMaya would be updated and renamed Maya to coincide with the opening of Maya Bank. The aforementioned renaming became effective on May 2, 2022.

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