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Myanmar has the potential to develop into a flourishing mobile money ecosystem with the influx of new investment and technology, a large unbanked population and a rapidly-growing mobile infrastructure. However, with new opportunities comes new challenges. What are the challenges and obstacles unique to Myanmar which prospective money providers must take into consideration to be successful?

Building trust

Prospective mobile money providers might find Myanmar’s existing informal and unregulated financial sector a tough obstacle to overcome. Sophisticated informal financial service providers are widespread throughout the country – they are preferred and generally perceived as more approachable due to negotiable terms and the distrust in banks which often had their assets seized by the former military regime.

Building an ecosystem from the ground up

A small mobile penetration rate (25.5%), coupled with the lack of a stable mobile network infrastructure and strong telco presence, presents another challenge for prospective money providers.This is, however, expanding at an extremely rapid rate.

Developing strong agent networks

Mobile money providers will need to build a strong agent networks through which users can cash-in and cash-out of their mobile money accounts. It might require a substantial amount of time for telcos to establish such networks, especially those with limited footprint.

Ensuring interoperability

The challenge to achieve and establish interoperability of their services is another point for mobile money providers to consider, as it would require a standardisation of infrastructure and platforms.

Despite the presence of these challenges, Myanmar looks set to be the new darling of mobile money in the future, with proactive support from the Central Bank and experienced new entrants coming into the market.

Read the full article published on Mondato here.

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