A new digital payment service has been launched for Myanmar which is expected to have over half a million users within its first year of operation. As the first business-to-business (B2B) focused mobile payments platform to be launched in Myanmar, Ongo allows companies to transfer funds directly between mobile devices.
As a comprehensive mobile payment solution, Ongo will offer a range of different services to businesses, including airtime top up, person-to-person (P2P) money transfer, mobile payroll, online payments, bill payments and B2B payments.
Initially 300 people will be employed by Ongo in Yangon and this is expected to grow to over 550 employees over the next twelve months.Ongo was formed in July 2015 following a partnership agreement between Irish investment advisory firm Ronoc and US mobile financial technology company Open Revolution.
A key aspect of the Ongo service is that FMCG distributors and retailers will now be able to perform transactions in an instant – removing the significant cash burden from their operations.
In addition to offering traditional forms of mobile money services where individuals can use funds in their e-wallet to make payments or transfer money, Ongo has developed processes to help FMCG distributors, banks and other local employers in Myanmar to quickly and easily facilitate salary payments. This is currently a lengthy and difficult process for employers and employees. With Ongo Payroll, payments will be instantly transferred to an employee’s e-wallet.
“This is a good time to be introducing a service like Ongo to Myanmar,” said Ongo Chairman, Michael Madden. “Myanmar is currently experiencing a digital revolution, with mobile phone penetration growing rapidly and expected to reach 90%+ within two years. The signalled lifting of US sanctions will provide a further boost to businesses adding to the strong economic forecasts and thriving business environment. Ongo also provides a means for progressing to a cashless system in a country which has low engagement with traditional banking services. Every user will have access to a suite of instant mobile financial services at the touch of a smart phone app. We anticipate that Myanmar will be the first market to move from cash directly to digital payments.”
“Over the last three years, Ronoc has invested extensive time and effort to develop strong market relationships”, said Allen Gilstrap, Ongo CEO “Those relationships feature regulators, leading banks, FMCG distributors and local business conglomerates. We have a partnership with Myanmar Oriental Bank that provides our mobile money licensing. MOB is a highly reputable local bank that has relationships with international development organizations like the IFC and others.”
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