2C2P, a leading Southeast Asian payment services company, and Myanmar Payment Union (MPU), the national payment network of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, have developed and implemented Myanmar's first electronic commerce payments platform.
MPU card holders can now – for the first time – search, select and directly pay for online purchases. There are already some 900,000 MPU cards in Myanmar, a number that is increasing rapidly, in line with ongoing economic reforms. MPU authorizes the issuance and acceptance of all payment cards within the country.
The 2C2P e-commerce payment platform creates the country's e-commerce and online payments infrastructure, modernising what is a cash-based economy. This partnership provides non-cash payment options, eliminating the inefficiencies and risks inherent in cash payments, including high costs and long processing times. It also opens up the world to Myanmar citizens, who can now pay for goods and services from other countries. MPU cards can also be used by Myanmar citizens travelling abroad, boosting the outbound travel and tourism sector.
Aung Kyaw Moe, Group CEO of 2C2P said, "As a payment network, MPU is comparable to that of VISA and MasterCard globally, NETS in Singapore, JCB in Japan, and China UnionPay in the People's Republic of China. We are extremely proud to work with MPU, the Central Bank of Myanmar, MPU's member banks and with merchants, growing Myanmar's financial and e-commerce infrastructure, and allowing its citizens to shop online."
According to McKinsey Global Institute's estimates, e-commerce and online retail in Myanmar is limited due to a lack of modern electronic payments systems. In its current state, Myanmar is a cash-based society, with cash-on-delivery (COD) remaining the predominant means of settling transactions. With the implementation of secure payment systems, as well as the expected rise in the penetration and use of credit and debit cards, the country's consuming class will hit 19 million people by 2030. McKinsey also estimates that Myanmar is expected to quadruple the size of its economy from US$45 billion to over US$200 billion by 2030, with per capita GDP rising from US$1,300 in 2010 to UUS$5,100 by 2030.
Mr. Zaw Lin Htut, CEO of Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) said, "Myanmar is witnessing a period of explosive growth, fuelled by mobile and internet penetration. We are excited to work with 2C2P to tap into this growth, ushering in a new phase of Myanmar's electronic commerce. This will be key, not just for our citizens to transact online, but also to boost the economy, ensuring that we are on a more even footing with other regional markets."
Myanmar has a population of 53.2 million people, and expects strong growth in internet and mobile penetration. In a 2012 survey conducted by the Asian Development Bank, mobile internet penetration was under one percent. In 2014, Myanmar Survey Research forecast this number at above 20 percent in the capital city Yangon, driven by the burgeoning availability of smartphones, with foreign handsets under US$200 inundating the domestic market. Moreover, according to Myanmar's Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, the country strives to increase its mobile phone density to 80% in 2015-2016, a significant step up from the 10% penetration rate in 2012-2013.
"The partnership with MPU is not just the outcome of years of hard work at 2C2P, but also the culmination of a need for financial inclusion among Burmese citizens," added Aung.
2C2P has been aggressively developing financial services infrastructure in Myanmar. It recently launched Citizen Card, the country's first prepaid card with a real-time mobile app. 2C2P has also introduced iACCEPT, a mobile point-of-sales system, along with Visa, MasterCard, Myanmar Citizens Bank and Myanmar Hotels International. 2C2P's solutions align with the needs of consumers for safe, convenient online purchases. The company processed more than US$2.2 billion worth of transactions across ASEAN in 2014.