Press Release


  • National Bank of Canada becomes strategic shareholder in Myanmar’s leading mobile payments business
  • ONGO plans to provide one million consumers in Myanmar with access to finance over the next three years

April 20th, 2017 – New York City – ONGO, Myanmar’s leading mobile payments business, today announced that National Bank of Canada (“NBC”) has become a new strategic shareholder acquiring a 22% shareholding. The terms of the deal are not being disclosed.
ONGO is the consumer facing brand of Ronoc Asia, a subsidiary of the emerging markets investment business Ronoc. It offers retailer payments solutions, payroll programs and direct to consumer services leveraging the latest payments technology.
“The addition of National Bank of Canada is an important milestone for our business. We have aggressive growth plans for Myanmar and have set ourselves a goal of providing over one million consumers with access to finance over the next three years,” said Michael Madden, the Founder and Chairman of Ronoc Asia/ONGO. “The addition of NBC as a strategic investor will strengthen our capabilities and accelerate our timelines in Myanmar as well as our expansion to other markets in the region.”
“National Bank of Canada is proud to become a partner of Ronoc Asia/ONGO. This investment in fintech complements the activities we already have in the ASEAN zone through our subsidiary ABA Bank, in Cambodia,” stated Louis Vachon, President and Chief Executive Officer of National Bank of Canada. “We look forward to contributing to ONGO’s success.”
ONGO currently employs over three hundred people in Yangon and is expected to grow to five hundred by year end.

About National Bank of Canada:

National Bank of Canada, together with its subsidiaries, forms one of Canada’s leading integrated financial groups. With some 21,000 employees, it offers integrated financial services to consumers, small and medium-sized enterprises and large corporations. The Bank’s securities are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA) and its head office is located in Montreal. Follow the Bank’s activities at or via social media such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About “ONGO” Myanmar:

ONGO customers can currently use their smartphone to Cash-in (convert their cash into Emoney) and Cash-out at over two hundred cash agent locations around Yangon and can access a suite of instant services including; Mobile top-up, P2P money transfer, B2B payments and Bill Payments. ONGO customers can now receive their payroll/salary direct to the E-wallet through ONGO’s Mobile Payroll Service. Our goal is to promote financial inclusion in a safe, simple and convenient fashion. 

About Ronoc:

Ronoc is an investment business founded by Michael Madden in 2007. Ronoc specializes in emerging markets and is focused on retail financial services and fintech. Ronoc brings a strategic and hands-on approach to investment with a key focus on impact investing. It’s investment business actively seeks to identify opportunities complementary to our core expertise with a focus on improving access to financial services in emerging markets. Ronoc headquarters are located in Dublin, Ireland with offices in New York, Singapore and Yangon.
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For Further Information Contact:
Aisling Smith-Galan
Tel: +353 1 6615100


Half a million users expected in first year

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.”

For any queries or for further information, please contact