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Wing ready to swoop into Myanmar

A Wing agent assists a customer at a local branch in Phnom Penh.
A Wing agent assists a customer at a local branch in Phnom Penh. Vireak Mai

Wing ready to swoop into Myanmar

Wing, which pioneered the agent-based money transfer business in Cambodia, will expand the model into Myanmar this year, tapping into the Southeast Asian country’s largely unbanked population of 55 million, the company’s chief executive said.

Jojo Malolos, CEO of Wing Specialised Bank (Cambodia), said the company signed with Myanmar-based Mingalabar this March and the partners are currently working to finalise the expansion strategy and begin operations later this year.

He explained that over 80 percent of Myanmar’s 55 million people have no formal access to financial services, which signifies a huge opportunity for companies to provide financial services that address this gap.

“We think that this is a huge opportunity not only for Wing Myanmar, but for the rest of the mobile financial services players in Myanmar,” Malolos said.

Kyaw Htoo Linn, founder of Mingalabar Holding, said that with Myanmar being a cash-based society facing similar challenges as Cambodia once did, Wing’s experience in a developing financial services market should ensure its success in Myanmar.

“Seeing and fully understanding how Wing made its name in Cambodia made us decide to offer their services to the Myanmar population,” he said. “We aim to stimulate faster growth and to further strengthen the landscape of financial services in Myanmar.”

Wing boasts the largest network of money transfer agents in Cambodia, with over 5,000 agents nationwide.According Malolos, the company’s revenues grew by about 20 percent in 2016 as the result of a high demand for domestic remittances.

Wing Specialised Bank reported $5.2 million net profit last year, according to the National Bank of Cambodia.

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