Myanmar's first national mobile money service has launched, enabling the South East Asian country's citizens to make payments through their handsets.
Having made significant democratic strides over the last two years and seen economic sanctions eased, Myanmar is taking tentative steps to modernise its cash-based economy.
With only 20% of the population currently having access to financial services, MasterCard and Visa have both been working with banks to build up the country's ATM and point-of-sale networks.
Now, Myanmar Mobile Money has also launched. Based on Oberthur Technologies' MoreMagic m:Wallet, the service includes person-to-person transfers, agent-assisted cash-in/-out, air time top-up, salary disbursements, and merchant payments.
Already available in major cities, by the end of 2014 the firm plans to have over 6000 agents and expects double-digit growth over the next five years. The service aims to eventually serve more than 80% of the population.
Kyaw Htoo Linn, CEO, Myanmar Mobile Money, says: "Relying on OT's solution, we have the ambition to lead the Mobile Financial Services revolution in Myanmar. To achieve this we are integrated with all the present mobile operators of the country, Mectel and MPT, and our network of mobile money agents is also strengthened with the Innwa Bank national branch network."