Yoma Bank’s digital payments service to start soon
YOMA bank plans to start offering its digital payment service – Wave Money – within a few months, according to the bank’s chief executive officer Hal Bosher.
The bank has all the necessary technology in place and is waiting for final approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar, Mr Bosher said.
Mobile money services allow customers to store cash in digital wallets, transfer funds electronically and take out physical notes through a network of agents.
Regulations on mobile money were released earlier this year, stating that companies seeking permission to offer mobile financial services must have at least K3 billion in capital and pay K300 million for the application.
Wave Money – a joint venture between Norwegian telecoms firm and Yoma Bank – was one of the firms that sought a licence. Both companies are expanding rapidly, and their collaboration was mutually beneficial, said Mr Bosher.
Telenor has a customer base of around 16 million, while Yoma Bank saw its deposits rise from K689.6 billion to K1.1 trillion over the 2015-16 financial year, according to financial results from that month.
The mobile money rules will allow the Telenor-YomaBank joint venture to have its own customers, rather than keeping them with a bank. Less than 10 percent of people in Myanmar have a bank account, but more than 40 million SIM cards have been sold in the country, creating a major network for those looking to provide e-money services.
Telenor and Yoma Bank have said previously that Wave Money aims to help people living in remote areas access banking services.
The Norwegian telco’s main international rival Ooredoo is also likely to push into the mobile money sector. CEO Rene Meza said earlier this year that that mobile money would be part of the company’s strategic approach,