Yoma Bank, Mastercard team up to accelerate Myanmar’s digital economy

24, Jun. 2020

Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels
Photo by Jack Sparrow from Pexels

By Yadana Htun

YANGON, NNA – One of Myanmar’s largest commercial banks, Yoma Bank, is teaming up with U.S. multinational financial services corporation Mastercard with the aim of enhancing Myanmar’s digital economy.

The new alliance will reinforce digital offerings by providing digital-first solutions for consumers, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which represent over 90 percent of businesses in the emerging economy, Yoma Bank said last Thursday.

“Digitizing the SME sector will help businesses across the country advance their payment capabilities and cycle off inefficiencies in their day-to-day business operations, while gaining access to new international markets and e-commerce opportunities,” said Dean Cleland, CEO of the local lender.

Aileen Chew, country manager of Mastercard for Thailand and Myanmar, said the leading global payments technology company has been working with multi-stakeholders in Myanmar for a new digital economy and a cashless Myanmar.

The U.S. card issuer is optimistic about the immense potential digital transformation is bringing to Myanmar’s economy.

Digital payments and greater financial inclusion will be essential to building a strong foundation for a lasting recovery from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, they said in a joint statement.

Early in 2019, Myanmar released a six-year roadmap plan preparing strategies to develop a digital economy for all sectors for inclusive and sustainable socioeconomic development.

However, Myanmar ranks among the lowest in ASEAN, according to the network readiness index of the World Economic Forum, although its digital economy has high potential.

The government has been slow to implement legislation on digital economy as the country does not have laws for cybersecurity and e-commerce platforms yet and the majority of people still lack access to banking services.