There has been investment and interest in Myanmar from all across the globe, as you’d expect for what is arguably the leading market in Asia. As well as interest from the traditional banks, FinTech is also knocking on Asia’s door, and as in other regions, is set to change the face of the finance sector.
Financial technology is the future for all emerging financial markets, as technology becomes more and more ubiquitous in every aspect of our lives – on a personal and business level. There are more and more FinTech investment deals occurring within Myanmar, strongly suggesting that it’s a booming industry.
Major FinTech deals in Myanmar
One of the most recent FinTech deals in Myanmar involved the National Bank of Canada (NBC), which is now a stakeholder in one of the leading mobile payment providers in Myanmar – ONGO. The mobile payments platform business has its base in Myanmar as one of the new breed of FinTech platforms taking the industry by storm. ONGO announced that NBC is a strategic shareholder in its business, which has financial inclusion as one of its main goals. We know that NBC has a 22 per cent shareholding in ONGO, although further terms of the deal aren’t readily available.
What do deals like this mean for Myanmar’s finance and technology industry?
FinTech is changing the role of banks
According to finews.asia, the use of FinTech with smartphone apps is changing the roles of banks within emerging markets across Asia. There are many investment businesses staking claims into the FinTech market in Asia, with an explosion of new payment systems, Apps and products aimed at combining technological advances with financial processes.
ONGO is the customer facing arm of Ronoc Asia, which in turn is a subsidiary of the investment business Ronoc, which focuses on emerging markets. ONGO offers payment solutions to retailers, as well as payroll programmes and other services designed to go direct to the consumer, all using the very latest in payments technology.
ONGO leading the way
Welcoming NBC as a stakeholder should accelerate ONGO’s delivery within Myanmar. It’s also likely to help the company expand the same technology into other regional markets. At the moment, the FinTech trailblazer employs more than 300 people in Yangon, and it’s likely that this will expand to 500 by the end of 2017.
The system that ONGO has developed allows consumers to convert cash into E-money at more than 200 locations around Yangon. Users can then easily access an entire suite of services that are instantly accessible. These include getting their salary direct into the E-wallet online, which effectively cuts out the bank entirely.
It’s products like this that are likely to greatly increase the FinTech industry within Myanmar, changing the investment landscape within emerging markets.