Myanmar: Telenor, Yoma to launch mobile financial service Wave Money in 2016

Brad Jones, CEO of Wave Money.

Myanmar based mobile operator Telenor, will be launching its mobile money transfer service Wave Money, as a subsidiary- in partnership with Yoma Bank.

Telenor, has a 51 per cent stake in the new venture while 49 per cent is held by Yoma bank,

Having gone thorough about five weeks of commercial testing in upper Myanmar, Wave Money will be released for the mass market, the un-banked and those with limited access to the bank. It is expected to be released officially as soon as the Central Bank issues regulations regarded the mobile financial services.

Brad Jones, chief executive officer of Wave Money told DEALSTREETASIA that the money transfer will be the first step and the service will include a suite of other services related to mobile financial transactions.

“We want to begin with the transfer of money and wanted to go with a very focused product and a very simple product. The initial service will be money transfer but we do see the potential future services including the airtime top-ups, bill payments, international remittance, salary disbursements,” said Jones.

U Set Aung, deputy governor of the Central Bank of Myanmar said last month that the bank will release the regulation on mobile money very soon.

For using the service, people can go to a Wave shop or self-register. Money can be cashed-in to the nearest wave shop with the most Kyats 200,000 (about $200) for both transfer and storage of money. The sender and receiver needs to show their national identity card and receive a transfer ID.

“By the end of March (2016), we plan to have about 6000 wave agents. That would include Yangon and upper Myanmar,” said Jones.

“One thing that we’ll looking is also things like salary disbursements. We like to have the people to be pay directly into our mobile account, and rather than cash all that money out, they might transfer some of the money. It’s going to take time to do type of the product but over time it would be possible,” said Jones.
The transfer fees of Wave Money would not be cheaper than the banks but they hope that the customers would value the convenience of the service, said Jones.

“After the mobile financial services are official, Wave Money would be ready for mass marketing, which would be more about educating people about the product and to build trust,”he added.

To date, Telenor has approximately 12 million users in Myanmar and aim to have about 4000 towers constructed around the country by the end of 2015.

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. 
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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.