As remittance market reaches saturation in Myanmar, mobile money keeps growing
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
As the market for consumer remittances reaches saturation, mobile money operators are looking to smartphone apps to continue their growth.
By KONRAD STAEHELIN
If the mobile money market were a football match, then the second half has just begun.
As the undisputed market leader, Wave Money is already a few goals ahead. It reports having almost 50,000 agents and more than 11 million customers, who remitted US$2.8 billion between January and September of this year.
By the end of the calendar year, remittances might hit $4 billion – triple last year’s figure, and around 5 percent of the country’s GDP. “We lead in money transfer, but digital payments has become competitive,“ Wave Money CEO Brad Jones told finance platform Digfin in February.
Less than three in 10 Myanmar adults have access to formal banking but there are now more registered SIM cards than people. With a large portion of the working population living away from their families, and often wanting to send money back home, fintech entrepreneurs spotted an opportunity in the remittance market.