Future super apps in frontier market Myanmar will likely emerge from payments upstarts, unlike Southeast Asia’s major full-stack platform strategies built predominantly on the back of ride-hailing.
With the number of mobile phone users at five times more than bank account holders, fintech firms are strategically placed as the conduits for achieving Myanmar’s financial inclusion target.
Although net income contribution from Wave Money is still a small portion to Yoma, its group CEO Melvyn Pun told DealStreetAsia that he is confident that it will become “quite large in the next couple of years.”
Oway, which runs the businesses of OTA, ride-hailing and recently added online grocery to its offerings, currently operates its Oway Pay app to serve its drivers. CEO Alok Kumar expects its e-payment service can expand to serve more consumers.
“Maybe in 2021, we will be able to bring a very synergistic solid (payment) product for the consumers in Myanmar,” Kumar said.
Leading apps with e-wallets are not the only ones pursuing the super app trophy.
Local banks such as CB Bank are also getting onto the bandwagon. The bank launched a standalone payment app in 2018, CB Pay, in addition to its mobile banking app. CB Pay has partnered with Grab to help with the latter’s payment processes, while it introduced a digital supply chain financing function.
“We have more than a hundred features on our application. For us, it is not just a mobile banking app; we consider this as an ecosystem or a super app,” said Thein Zaw Tun, Managing Director at CB Bank.