Myanmar gets first national mobile money service

Myanmar gets first national mobile money service

30 JAN 2014

Myanmar Mobile Money has launched a range of services including P2P funds transfer via mobile phones as it seeks to exploit what is a prime market with an underdeveloped financial sector.

The newcomer is promising to have over 6,000 agents in place by the end of 2014 to serve the largely cash-based economy. It will eventually cover more than 80 per cent of the population, it said.

Less than 20 per cent of the population has access to banking services at present, said the company, which opens up the opportunity for a mobile-based service. However, with penetration at 11-12 per cent, neither is mobile penetration ubiquitous.

This is likely to change rapidly with the launch of services by Ooredoo and Telenor. Both operators won licences last year although neither has so far launched.

Myanmar Mobile Money said it is using the country’s existing incumbent mobile operators to deliver its services. Its agent network is also strengthened with the branch network of Innwa Bank.

The company originally launched in a low-key way at the end of 2013 but has only just made a formal announcement.

A release came out from Oberthur Technologies, the French vendor which supplied the system used by the newcomer.

The entrant is also working with consulting partner Mobilemate Telecommunication.

In addition to P2P transfers, other services include cashing in and out with agents, airtime top-up, salary payment and merchant payments.

During the bidding for the country’s two mobile licences, Vodafone talked about offering mobile money using M-Pesa, which already enjoys mass popularity in Kenya. This idea fell away when Vodafone pulled out of the bid.

Author

Richard Handford

Richard is the editor of Mobile World Live’s money channel and a contributor to the daily news service. He is an experienced technology and business journalist who previously worked as a freelancer for many publications over the last decade including...

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