Yangon, February 8, 2016 – Telenor Myanmar Limited (“Telenor”) today held its 24th edition of Net Monday, this time with the focus on the potential of mobile financial services to connect large masses of unbanked communities in countries like Myanmar.
Net Monday is a monthly industry event organized by Telenor Myanmar to promote a rich dialogue on topics relevant to the growing digital and online community in Myanmar. Each event brings together a panel of local and international subject matter experts to discuss and debate specific topics of interest to local programmers, web designers, bloggers, developers, technical experts, and representatives from local or international Internet and technology companies. Previous Net Monday events were held in a number of different towns and universities across the country, including Magwe, Mawlamyine, Bago, Hmawbi, and Yangon.
Speaking at this event was Brad Jones, Chief Executive Officer of Wave Money, and Paul Luchtenburg, Financial Inclusion Program Specialist at the United Nations Capital Development Fund. They were joined by Petter Furberg, Chief Executive Officer of Telenor.
Wave Money is a joint venture established by Telenor and Yoma Bank. The company is currently undertaking a commercial testing period, and will look to commence operations within the first quarter of 2016, pending final approvals from the Central Bank of Myanmar. As keynote speaker for the evening, Jones led a presentation titled “Wave Money, enabling a wave of change for financial services in Myanmar.”
“The government of Myanmar has an ambitious target for financial inclusion, with a goal of reaching 40% of people with financial services by 2020, and having 15% using more than one financial services product. Coming off a very low base of financial inclusion today, these goals will require financial service providers to significantly expand their reach in Myanmar. Technology, and particularly mobile telephony coupled with agent cash in and cash out services, will provide a significant accelerator to this development,” said Jones.
Accelerating financial inclusion
“Mobile operators, partnering with banks, are best placed to expand the reach of financial services in Myanmar to those that are unbanked today by leveraging distribution networks that are already in place. Wave Money in this respect provides the right model for Myanmar, leveraging the distribution reach of Telenor and the local expertise and cash management capabilities of Yoma Bank,” Jones added.
“Our strategy in Myanmar was built on serving mass market customers, connecting people who didn’t have the opportunity to be connected before. Done right, mobile financial services has the potential to truly connect large masses of unbanked communities in Myanmar to simple but meaningful services, in ways that are convenient, secure, and reliable,” adds Furberg.
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