Mobile money provider Wave Money, whose backers include Telenor, has an ambitious rollout plan for Myanmar.
In an interview with The Nation, Vibeke Siljan Krohn, the firm’s head of sales, marketing and distribution, said: “We have launched a nationwide distribution network with over 4,000 points of sale across the country. We will grow to around 7,000 by the end of this year and more than 15,000 by the end of next year.”
Establishing a ubiquitous distribution network for paying in and cashing out payments is seen as vital for running a successful mobile money service.
In addition to Telenor Myanmar, Wave Money’s other backers are First Myanmar Investment and Yoma Bank. It currently offers P2P money transfers and airtime top-ups, and will debut bill payments before the end of the year, and then merchant payments early in 2017.
The firm has acquired around 100,000 customers in two months since its launch. It started by launching in major cities such as Yangon and Mandalay, and then expanded to other parts of the country.
Wave Money has a big opportunity to grow, given limited penetration of conventional banking in Myanmar. The firm said its approach is mass market, with simple services that are easy to understand and use. It also deploys user-friendly interfaces such as Facebook to make registration straightforward, which it sees as key to success.
Krohn said that Telenor’s network coverage and Yoma Bank’s reputation are factors behind Wave Money’s growth, implying the firm might join forces with other banks in the future.