Fintech Challenge Myanmar 2020 Matchmaking Pitching Day

Yangon, Myanmar: The DaNa Facility, in collaboration with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the Asian Development Bank’s ADB Ventures, virtually organized the Fintech Challenge Myanmar (FCM) 2020 Pitching Day on 19 November, to provide 19 shortlisted fintechs the opportunity to present their capabilities and demonstrate an updated version of their technology solutions, showcased for an impressive audience of fellow fintechs, financial institutions, and other key stakeholders, partners, and potential investors.

The Pitching Day is a critical step on the pathway to the Finalist Demo Day planned for April 2021, facilitating shortlisted fintechs to participate in a competitive forum to present and demonstrate their solutions to fintech problems, with prizes offered to the winners, and bringing the Fintech Challenge Myanmar 2020 (FCM2020) programme to a close.

FCM2020 was launched in early 2020 to drive innovation in financial services and promote greater financial inclusion in Myanmar. The programme 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 Pitching Day followed an innovative series of “deep webinars” covering the “Key Priority Areas” of FCM 2020, including: 1) MSME Finance / Alternative Lending; 2) Digital and Financial Literacy; 3) Microinsurance; 4) Digital Remittances/ Cash Transfers; 5) e-KYC / e-Identity; and 6) Green Finance. Overall, the six Deep Webinars attracted over 430 participants with an average of 60 participants per event.

“The broad and impressive array of fintechs on display at the FCM2020 Pitching Day showed that a revolution is underway in financial services in Myanmar that is introducing disruptive new technologies to the financial services industry. This will be a good thing for Myanmar’s consumers and can play a critical role in responding to and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. In a few years’ time, your phone will be your bank,” said Tom Moyes, DaNa Facility Senior Access to Finance Advisor.

The FCM2020 programme has revealed three important things about fintech in Myanmar, namely: 1) there is significant interest in fintech in the country and an impressive degree of local fintech activity and competence; 2)  there is a need for ongoing dialogue between incumbent financial providers, regulators, fintechs and other stakeholders to support adoption – the ecosystem is small but growing and in need of careful nurturing; and 3) development partners can play a useful role in supporting further development of the fintech ecosystem and facilitating regulatory responses to fintech.

The DaNa Facility, in particular, is exploring a “three-pronged approach” to supporting the fintech ecosystem. First, establishing an Innovation Office/Hub will allow regulators to support financial innovation through an office that manages open and ongoing dialogue with fintechs. Second, supporting a Fintech Innovation Lab can showcase and pilot financial technologies that promote greater access to finance, building on problem-solving approaches. Lastly, facilitating a Fintech Industry Association will help elevate and focus national discussion of fintech and financial innovation, continuous knowledge sharing, and promote collaboration and dialogue.

“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.

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Notes to editors:

For more information please contact the DaNa Facility communications team at: +95 9782500752 or through email: danapress@danafacility.com

About The DaNa Facility

The DaNa Facility is an innovative £34.9 million private sector development programme funded by the FCDO and managed by DAI Europe. The programme runs from May 2016 to December 2022, supporting inclusive and responsible economic growth by working with government, businesses, and stakeholders through a combination of grants and technical assistance. For more information on the DaNa Facility please visit: www.danafacility.com. Follow the DaNa Facility on Twitter | Facebook.

About UNCDF

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