Yoma Bank’s dig­i­tal pay­ments ser­vice to start soon

The Myanmar Times - - Business - AYE THIDAR KYAW ayethi­dark­yaw@mm­times.com

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,

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