Telecom operator Ooredoo prepares to launch mobile money services in Myanmar

Ooredoo, one of the three telecom providers in Myanmar, is gearing up to launch mobile money services in the country.

Having chosen Co-operative Bank (CB Bank) as its banking partner, Qatar-based Ooredoo is now awaiting licence approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar.

The company claims it has already completed testing the new offering and established internal business processes to manage it. Ooredoo is hopeful it can launch mobile money services in 2017 for its more than 8 million customers.

The new mobile money services, M-Pitesan, will enable the telco’s customers to send money instantly within the country. Customers will also be able to buy airtime for themselves or others, said Jacques Voogt, Chief M-Commerce officer for Ooredoo Myanmar.

Since the entry of foreign telecom players in 2014, Myanmar has seen its mobile penetration cross 90 per cent. With about 77 per cent of the population lacking access to banking, mobile money services offer an opportunity to drive financial inclusion in the country.

Currently, only one telecom operator – Telenor – offers mobile money services in Myanmar. These services, called Wave Money and offered in partnership with Yoma Bank, allow users to store and transfer money electronically as a first step. A suite of services is expected to follow in future, including airtime top-ups, bill payments, international remittance and salary disbursements.

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