Myanmar online shoppers get new payment option

Summary:Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) and 2C2P launch a new payment service that will allow online shoppers in the country to pay for their goods with their MPU cards.

Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) and payment services vendor 2C2P have teamed up to provide a new payment option for online shoppers in the Asian nation.

The service will allow consumers in Myanmar, for the first time, to pay online for their local and international purchases, 2C2P said in a statement Monday. The e-commerce payment platform is available to 900,000 holders of MPU cards, which are issued by banks in the country.

MPU was launched by the Myanmar Central bank and local banks as the national payment network and comprises ATMs and POS systems. It authorizes the issuance and acceptance of all payment cards across the country. MPU cards can be used overseas.

Its partnership with 2C2P will provide "non-cash payment options, eliminating the inefficiencies and risks inherent in cash payments, including high costs and long processing times", said 2C2P. "It also opens up the world to Myanmar citizens who can now pay for goods and services from other countries."

The country has been introducing various economic reforms since opening its doors to foreign trade.

Its e-commerce and online retail sector was limited by a lack of modern, secured e-payment systems and based primarily on a cash-on-delivery model, 2C2P noted, citing research by McKinsey Global Institute. With the availability of secure payment options and the growing use of credit and debit cards, Myanmar's consumer population and economy are expected to reach 19 million and US$200 billion, respectively, by 2030. Per capital GDP will is projected to grow from US$1,300 in 2010 to US$5,100 by 2030, according to McKinsey.

MPU CEO Zaw Lin Htut said in the statement: "Myanmar is witnessing a period of explosive growth, fuelled by mobile and internet penetration. We are excited to work with 2C2P to tap this growth, ushering in a new phase of Myanmar's e-commerce. This will be key, not just for our citizens to transact online, but also to boost the economy, ensuring that we are on a more even footing with other regional markets."

The country currently has a population of 53.2 million. Myanmar's Ministry of Communications and Informatino Technology expects mobile penetration rate is estimated to reach 80 percent over the next year, up from just 10 percent in 2013.

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