Online Stock Trading in the Philippines is becoming “Petmalu!”

The Philippines and Southeast Asia as a whole face increased demand for financial online services and KYC (Know Your Customer) solutions that cater to secure transactions and interactions between digital customers and financial entities such as online brokers for stock trading.

Digital Landscapes Emerging in Southeast Asia

An increase of volume and value in digital-driven transactions and interactions is emerging throughout Southeast Asia and especially in the Philippines. Expedited by societal circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic, this economic development calls for platforms, services, and digital systems to automate, expand and facilitate access to financial services. Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) account for 99.5% of registered businesses in the Philippines, their revenue is therefore critical to the economy’s growth. With a population that is largely unbanked or underserved by traditional financial institutions the Philippines strive to become a more financially inclusive country so that more SMEs get access to the financial services they require. At this stage of digital development, the primary Philippine regulators are therefore adopting a balanced regulatory approach focused on risk-based and proportionate regulation and consumer protection. But historically nations have utilized different regulatory strategies at various stages of their digital development which indicates that some regulatory changes could be implemented later on. As many companies have had to learn by bitter experience in recent years: When investing in systems and solutions that cater to the digital customer processes of today it is wise to ensure these are adaptable to tomorrow’s legislative changes with a minimum of further investments.

A Breakthrough for Online Broker-dealers

Today there are 130 registered brokerage firms in the Philippines according to the directory of PSE (Philippines Stock Exchange) and only 33 of these offer an online trading platform to their clients. This doesn’t align particularly well with the ambitions of the nation or the paradigm shift occurring in the world of investing. Online brokers are increasingly gaining popularity and lower costs for investors constitute a significant reason why. Another reason is the accessibility and convenience of having an online account granting the investor complete control of their portfolio. All trades can be executed immediately without having to notify a personal broker to act on behalf of the investor. The last couple of years show a rapid rise of the Filipino retail investor and it is clear that online trading has induced this boost. Out of the approximately 1.4 million accounts in the stock market, about 97.9% of the total number of accounts belong to retail investors, according to the PSE. Online accounts dominate the local bourse after cornering 67% of the total.

Even though there’s much more improvement needed to further expand investment and growth opportunities while mitigating risks the trend has been established. According to the PSE, investors aged 18 to 29 today constitute 22,5% of the total stock market account holders, but that percentage could skyrocket in conjunction with the Philippine digital transformation. The effect of digital natives increasing in numbers and the fact that investors nowadays are younger poses a potential golden age for online brokers in the years ahead. However, investments in fintech solutions that cater to a digitized and automated KYC compliance process are a prerequisite to have a chance at becoming a competitive online broker in the new digital landscape of Southeast Asia. But those investments should be well thought through to ensure sustainable regulatory compliance and competitiveness.

How Can ZignSec Help?  

With a complete set of automated KYC checks, including swift online identity verification for smooth onboarding, we reduce the time to open an account by up to 90%. Connecting to
ZignSec allows you to verify more than 8000+ different ID documents from over 170 countries, rendering your business equipped for international customer acquisition and cross-border compliance. With ZignSec your business can gain access to a worldwide array of the best-of-breed solutions for KYC and KYB compliance following AML rules – all via one API. Our workflow manager grants you the capacity to combine these solutions into a seamless workflow tailored for any industry and country. This also enables easy re-engineering of processes and workflows in a way that is compliant with regulatory requirements, allowing rapid deployment of any changes or optimizations to occur in these flows.  


Your ZignSec connection means access to a global supply of complete compliance solutions and the capability to manage and remodel processes and workflows. With these optimal conditions for swift customer acquisition and enhanced collaboration between the front and back-office teams through integrated internal and external systems – your online brokerage firm is dressed for success and prepared for perpetual compliance come what may. 

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    Cookie Policy

    Effective date: January 1, 2020

    This notice explains ZignSec’s approach to cookies and other online data collection technologies.

    When you visit our websites, use our mobile apps, engage with our online ads or emails, we collect information, using technologies such as cookies, pixel tags (also called web beacons), browser analysis tools and server logs. Each of these technologies is explained below.

    1. How We Use Cookies

    We use cookies and other online data collection tools for several many different purposes.

    Strictly necessary cookies and tags are used by ZignSec to support the basic operations of our websites and apps. They enable core website functions, such as authentication, security, network management and accessibility. You may be able to disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may affect how the website functions.

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    For websites in the United States and Europe, ZignSec provides you with the ability to manage cookies that are not essential to display our website using “Manage Your Cookies” Many ZignSec websites only place marketing, personalization, and advertising cookies if you explicitly accept these cookies by clicking “Accept All Cookies” when you first visit the website. If you have accepted cookies, you adjust your preferences by using this link.

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    In most cases, the choices you make are linked to your browser. If you use different browsers or different devices, you will need to set your preferences on each one. Even if you opt-out, you may still receive ads that are not customized for you, unrelated to your browser settings.

    Although our websites currently do not have a mechanism to recognize the various web browser Do Not Track signals, we do offer our customers choices to manage their cookie preferences as described in the previous section. To learn more about browser tracking signals and Do Not Track please visit

    Residents of some countries and states have additional privacy rights. Information on these rights is provided in the supplemental privacy notices posted in the Privacy Center.

    3. Social Media and other Platforms

    Our websites may enable you to interact with us and others via social media platforms. This functionality is enabled using social media cookies and tags. For example, some ZignSec websites allow you to sign in using social media platform credentials. Please read the privacy statements provided by your social media platforms to understand how they use your information and to manage your choices.

    We may display interest-based ads to you when you are using social media platforms. These platforms allow us to personalize the ads that we display to you. To enable delivery of these ads, we convert your email address into a unique number. The platforms also convert their user emails into unique numbers using the same process. This allows the records to be matched without any exchange of data elements that can identify you on their own. The platforms perform the matching as a service provider to ZignSec, and they do not retain or use the file that we send them for their own purposes. This process allows the platform to deliver our ads to our customers on the platform. The platforms may gain insights about individuals who respond to the ads we serve.

    4. Other Types of Online Data Collection

    Our server logs record information about users to our websites. We may use these logs for internal purposes, such as website administration, optimization and security. We may also use the data for fraud-protection, personalization and advertising.

    We collect device identifiers and other device-related information, including your device’s advertising ID if available. This information is used to identify the device and authenticate you. We may also use device-related information to associate you with different devices that you may use, including for fraud-protection purposes and to better target advertising. In many cases, you can reset your device’s advertising ID. Both Android and iOS devices enable you to reset your device identifier under the “settings” menu.

    5. A Guide to Cookies and Other Technologies


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    Pixel Tags and Web Beacons

    Pixel tags (also called web beacons) are tiny graphic images and small blocks of code placed on website pages, ads, or in emails that allow us to determine whether you have performed a specific action. When you access the pages or you open an email, the tag lets us know you have accessed the web page or opened the email. These tools allow us to measure response to our communications and improve our web pages and promotions.

    Server Logs

    Server logs record activities on our websites. Other types of logs collect similar information from our apps. These logs record information about the device you use to access our website, your operating system type, browser type, domain and other system settings, as well as the language your system uses and the country and time zone where your device is located. Our logs also record the IP address of the device you use to connect to the Internet. An IP address is a unique identifier that devices require to identify and communicate with each other on the Internet. We may also collect information about the website you were visiting before you came to ZignSec and the website you visit after you leave our site.