BRAC partners with Ongo to digitise microfinance repayments

Ongo, a local digital payment service provider, last week announced a partnership with BRAC Myanmar Microfinance Company (BRAC) to fully digitise the latter’s loan repayments.

Under the agreement, BRAC borrowers can quickly and easily pay back their loans with the Ongo mobile app or with an Ongo QR Card at any of Ongo’s 1800 agents across Myanmar.

BRAC, which aims to create employment and income opportunities for people living in poverty, particularly women, has lent more than US$76 million to a total of 131,319 borrowers since 2014.

Ongo operates in 55 Myanmar cities to over 130 corporate clients, 26,000 merchants and 500,000 consumer users. All Ongo mobile wallet accounts are regulated by the Central Bank of Myanmar under the Mobile Banking Licence directive, in partnership with Myanmar Oriental Bank.

The two firms will start by implementing a pilot project at four BRAC branches in Myanmar. Tariqul Islam, country representative of BRAC Myanmar, said “the partnership with Ongo is a key element in our digital strategy.”

The move comes shortly after the Microfinance Business Supervisory Committee under the Ministry of Planning and Finance on June 5 issued a directive revising interest rates for microfinance loans and savings in Myanmar.

Under the new directive, interest rates for monthly loans of K100 will be charged K2.30 and the yearly maximum interest rate will be 28 percent. The previous rate was for K2.50 for a K100 monthly loan while the yearly maximum interest rate was 30pc.

Furthermore, the new interest rate on compulsory savings will be K1.20 for K100 per month from K1.25 before, while the annual minimum interest rate has been cut by 1pc to 14pc.

The interest rate on voluntary savings remained the same at K0.80 per K100 saved per month, with annual rates set at 10pc.

Source: Myanmar Times

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