Ongo, digital payment service provider will partner with Advans MFI Myanmar Co, microfinance lender to digitize loan repayments for Advans’ borrowers to be able to pay back loans more easily and quickly with a mobile app or QR card at any Ongo agent.
Ongo will provide easy way for borrowers in the communities such as Mandalay and Sagaing where Advans operates, to be able to pay back their loans without having to leave their own houses or business premises, said Ongo CEO Allen Gilstrap.
According to the company, digital payment systems can ease the livelihoods of people who depend on finance services for their commercial growth and operations owing to the rising mobile internet penetrate rate.
Advans Myanmar started lending operations in April 2017 and serves over 44,000 clients with a loan portfolio of over K18 billion at the end of June. The MFI offers village banking to clients in rural areas as well as small group lending products and individual loans in urban areas. Advans aims to promote inclusive economic growth in Myanmar by building the financial stability of families, small businesses and farmers.
All Ongo mobile wallet accounts are monitored and regulated by the Central Bank of Myanmar under the Mobile Banking License directive through Myanmar Oriental Bank.
In 2016, the Central Bank of Myanmar rolled out the Mobile Financial Services (MFS) regulation, allowing licensees to offer kyat-dominated cash-in and cash-out services, money transfer and domestic payments.
Applicants for the MFS require a minimum capital of K3 billion (US$2.5 million) and an application fee of 0.1 percent of the minimum amount. Fintech companies are allowed to apply for mobile banking licenses, which were first issued in 2013 under the support of the Mobile Banking Directive. These licenses are given to traditional banks, and ﬁntech firms need to operate under a bank license.
VisionFund Myanmar (VFM), a British microfinance institution, together with the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID)’s DaNa Facility announced last month they will invest $1.7 million for a digital financial services scheme targeting the rural population.