Digital Money Myanmar Limited ("Wave Money") and Ant Financial Services Group ("Ant Group"), operator of Alipay, have announced a strategic partnership to promote financial inclusion for the unbanked and underbanked communities in Myanmar, according to a press release.
Ant Group's expertise in mobile payment and digital financial services will help boost Wave Money's technological capabilities to provide greater convenience and security in mobile financial services across Myanmar.
Wave Money is a joint venture between Telenor Group and the Yoma Group. As part of this partnership, Ant Group plans to invest US$73.5 million in Wave Money to become a substantial minority stakeholder, alongside existing shareholders Yoma Group and Telenor. Ant Group’s stake in Wave Money will come by way of a new share issuance which is subject to certain conditions, including regulatory approval.
Wave Money, a leading mobile financial services provider in Myanmar, runs a network of more than 57,000 agents or "Wave Shops" in urban and rural areas across 295 out of 330 townships nationwide, covering approximately 89% of the country. In 2019, Wave Money's transfer volume more than tripled year-on-year reaching MMK6.4 trillion (US$4.3 billion). During the same period, revenue and transaction numbers also tripled. Wave Money became EBITDA positive in September 2018, just two years after its launch and continued to maintain its profitability.
More than 21 million people have used Wave Money's platform including Wave Pay for remittances, utility payments, airtime top-ups and digital payments. Since its launch in October 2018, Wave Pay's monthly active user base has been increasing steadily at 14% per month-on-month.
Ant Group is an innovative technology provider that aims to bring inclusive financial services to the world. It is the operator of Alipay, an online payment service launched in 2004 which has since evolved into a leading digital lifestyle platform connecting merchants and its users. As of 30 June 2019, Alipay, together with its strategic e-wallet partners serves 1.2 billion global users.