January 21, 2020
Yangon, Myanmar: The DaNa Facility, in collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Asian Development Bank’s ADB Ventures, launched the Fintech Challenge Myanmar (FCM2020) today in a bid to drive innovation in financial services and promote greater financial inclusion in Myanmar. FCM2020 is organized with financial support from UK aid, and in close cooperation with the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) and the Financial Regulatory Department (FRD) of the Ministry of Planning, Finance, and Industry (MOPFI).
The Fintech Challenge Myanmar is open to Myanmar and international fintech companies interested in collaborating with financial service providers to pilot and scale solutions that improve financial services in the following priority areas: e-KYC/e-Identity; digital and financial literacy; microinsurance, MSME finance/alternative lending; digital remittances; and green finance.
Myanmar’s financial sector has grown substantially in recent years, but financial institutions still find it challenging to provide financial services to large customer segments, including micro and small enterprises, rural dwellers and farmers, as well as low-income people living in urban areas. The recent worldwide explosion of financial technology (fintech), including in Myanmar, promises to fill this gap.
“There is a revolution underway in financial services around the world, and Myanmar is going to soon be feeling the effects of disruptive new technologies on the financial services industry. This is going to be a very good thing for Myanmar’s consumers. In a few years’ time, your phone will be your bank,” Said Tom Moyes, DaNa Facility Senior Access to Finance Advisor
Much of the recent advances in fintech are driven by the expansion of mobile telephony and the increasing prevalence of smartphones. The focus of FCM2020 is on fintech solutions that can improve the quality and quantity of financial services to the underserved and unbanked.
“We are particularly excited about the prospect of showcasing new fintech business models and products that help to facilitate financial inclusion. What UK aid is most interested in—and keenly focused on—is fintech for financial inclusion. The Fintech Challenge Myanmar has that laser focus on financial inclusion that is needed in Myanmar,” noted Tom Coward, Team Leader of UK aid Myanmar’s Inclusive and Livelihoods Team
Interested fintech companies may begin applying immediately via the FCM2020 website: http://fintech.danafacility.com/. Further programme details, timelines, and updates will be announced on the website.
Successful FCM2020 applicants will participate in a two-month period of collaboration and mentoring with a financial institution in order to fine-tune and adapt their fintech solution to the reality of the Myanmar market. Fintechs will participate in a competitive “Initial Pitch Session”, where they will present their capabilities to a panel of financial industry players, financial experts, and investors. The best fintech solutions providers will have the opportunity to demonstrate their products and services at the Myanmar Fintech Day scheduled for June 2020.
“We very much like the concept of the Fintech Challenge Myanmar, which will promote fintech companies to showcase their solutions to Myanmar financial service providers. We understand that the Challenge is an opportunity to see and test new financial technologies and new business models. In the payment space, we definitely need financial innovation to drive interoperability and promote greater access to financial services,” said U Bo Bo Nge, Deputy Governor, Central Bank of Myanmar.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact the DaNa Facility communications team at: +95 9782500752 or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The DaNa Facility
The DaNa Facility is an innovative £25 million private sector development programme funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and managed by DAI Europe and KPMG. The programme runs from May 2016 to December 2020, supporting inclusive and responsible economic growth by working with government, businesses, and stakeholders through a combination of grants and technical assistance.
UNCDF has been in Myanmar since 2012 implementing a variety of projects which improve financial inclusion particularly for those not served or marginally served such as women and people living in rural areas. Globally, UNCDF makes public and private finance work for the poor in the world’s 47 least developed countries. With its capital mandate and instruments, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
For more information see: www.uncdf.org/en/myanmar
About ADB Ventures
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. In 2018, it made commitments of new loans and grants amounting to $21.6 billion. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region. ADB Ventures is an ADB technical assistance program targeting sustainable development impact through technology solutions that enable climate impact, inclusive finance, health, and gender equality.
For more information see: www.adbventures.org
You can find a Myanmar version of the press release here.