Digital payment firms in pole position in Myanmar super app race

Mandalay, Myanmar. Photo by Guilherme Romano on Unsplash

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.

Early movers eyeing the trophy include Yoma Group’s Wave Money, travel and transport tech firm Oway and CB Bank’s CB Pay.

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.

Continue reading this report with a DSA Research and Analytics subscription.

Subscribe

Contact us for corporate subscriptions at subs@dealstreetasia.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.