MyCHAT to get mobile payments

Local chat app MyCHAT is moving toward allowing mobile payment on its platform.

Its parent, MySQUAR, announced yesterday it has linked up with MyPAY, a new company specialising in solving Myanmar’s mobile payment problems.

Under a five-year agreement, MyPAY’s mobile payment services will become a feature of MyCHAT, according to a company statement.

The link-up means the social media company will get US$500,000 in software platform integration fees from the new payment firm, plus half of net fees that come from MyCHAT customers using MyPAY.

MySQUAR, which listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange on July 1, has racked up more than 1.5 million user accounts.

“The fee and revenue share received from MyPAY are expected to add stable cash inflow to the company,” MySQUAR CEO Eric Schaer said in a statement.

In a tweet, MySQUAR public relations adviser Damien McCrystal hailed the move as one of the earliest monetisations of any sizeable social media company.

“MySQUAR will work closely with MyPAY to make sure the mobile payment services integrated in MyCHAT will be rolled out as soon as possible, in accordance with local laws,” Mr Schaer added. He “holds an indirect controlling interest” in the payment firm, a press release said.

Meanwhile, MyPAY – which does not yet have a Yangon office – targets launching a mobile payment app next year to encourage financial inclusion, according to CEO Nicolas Nguyen.

MyPAY will operate like a mobile wallet, and users can deposit money on the app by visiting registered cash points staffed by agents, he said, adding the firm plans to offer peer-to-peer as well as peer-to-merchant services.

Mobile payment has remained a major headache for many digital entrepreneurs and businesses in Myanmar. Though the country’s telcos – state incumbent Myanma Posts and Telecommunications, Telenor Myanmar and Ooredoo Myanmar – have made initial steps toward providing services, widespread initiatives have not yet gone forward.

At the start, MyPAY will not team up with any of Myanmar’s telecoms.

“We are looking at partnering with a financial institution rather than a telco at this stage,” Mr Nguyen said yesterday, though this could change.

He said that it is still early for the company, adding that the firm is currently securing commercial agreements with partners.

“We are putting things in place little by little by partnering with relevant partners locally and internationally,” he said.

The company has backing from international payment technology firm Fastacash, which announced an undisclosed investment in MyPAY yesterday.

The Singapore-based firm will also deliver MyPAY’s technology platform, facilitating payments and airtime and money transfers via social media channels, a press release said.

“Together, we are empowering a connected market where 90 percent of people are unbanked and underserved by traditional financial institutions,” Mr Nguyen said in a statement.

Source: Myanmar Times

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