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Myanmar’s first interbank payment app partners with Alibaba-backed TrueMoney

74% of Myanmar’s adult population does not own a bank account, reflecting massive potential in the market.

Onepay, Myanmar’s first mobile interbank platform, on Thursday announced a partnership with TrueMoney to expand on the former’s agent networks in the country that has developed a competitive mobile money landscape.

TrueMoney, an Alibaba-backed fintech firm headquartered in Thailand, made forays into Myanmar’s market in 2016 in an alliance with the local AGD Bank. Apart from offering international real-time remittance services, that are critical for Burmese migrant workers, it also acts as a payment aggregator enabling local money transfers.

The partnership will allow Onepay users to cash in and out using TrueMoney’s 23,000 agents. Initially, the new service will be limited to deposits, while withdrawals will follow later on.

Onepay rolled out its interbank app in early May, and has since signed up over 3,000 merchants in Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. The AGD bank-backed digital platform positions itself as an all-in-one lifestyle app which connects users and businesses to process financial services like bill payments, e-wallet top-ups, and local remittances.

“Our commitment is providing financial inclusion to the people of Myanmar,” said Onepay chief commercial officer Sagar Bhagaddia. “We’re always looking for different ways to serve the unbanked and under-serviced population, and we know that customers in rural areas often choose agents, rather than banks, for their cash in or cash out services.”

Read this: Myanmar’s mobile money services are scattered, spotty, and spirited

Digital payments in Myanmar are expected to show an annual growth rate of more than 20% by 2024, with the aggregate transaction value increasing from approximately USD 70 million today to USD 340 million in 2024, according to estimates by data provider Statista.

But even with such rapid growth, 74% of Myanmar’s adult population does not own a bank account, reflecting massive potential in the market, according to payment consultancy Mercator Advisory Group.

The current leaders in the digital payments sector include Ant Group-backed Wave Money, Ooredoo’s M-pitesan, and KBZPay. Meanwhile, major financial institutions and telecommunications operators such as GrabPay are planning to enter the country.