By KHINE KYAW
ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Neil Emerson, the firm’s senior vice president and managing director for Asia Pacific, said that its customers’ positive feedback and satisfaction drove them to establish an on-the-ground presence in Myanmar.
Previously, the firm had been operating in Myanmar through third-party business partners, supporting local banks with their self-service technology needs for many years.
“Our intention is to work with the Myanmar community and become a trusted partner. That is really important to us,” he said.
“Our local office will enable us to build a closer relationship with our customers and serve them better. We continue to drive innovation in both banking and retail technology and services to meet Myanmar’s unique market requirements … Myanmar banks really aim to expand to support their customers. We are willing to support them by having our presence here.”
Emerson said that the firm could cater to the growing needs of Myanmar banks as they expand their products and services in and beyond major cities. The firm also plans to help established or new retailers who wish to enter the Myanmar market with its automation, omni-channel and lifecycle management solutions.
Piers Leach, country manager for Myanmar, was proud to say that the firm is the market leader in Myanmar’s ATM (automated teller machine) network.
To date, the firm has acquired 70 per cent market shares, providing its services to nearly 1,700 ATMs across the country. All the leading private banks including KBZ, Aya, CB, AGD and UAB have become its customers.
Last month, CB bank signed an extensive contract with the firm for systems, software and services to expand its self-service cash offerings beyond Yangon. The bank operates one of the largest ATM networks in the country and aims to double its size of ATM network in 180 branches across the country. The bank will add 500 new ATMs and cash recyclers to its current network of 500 terminals supplied by the firm.
Leach said that the firm aims at providing its technology to all the banks in Myanmar – private and state-owned.
They are also looking at the retail sector including shopping malls, convenience stores, grocery shops and gas stations. The firm already has a team of 30 service staff in Myanmar, and will expand its workforce over time.
“We have seen a significant growth in the banking industry in Myanmar over the last few years, and we have already been a long and established partner for most of the country’s leading commercial banks.
“We are excited to more effectively grow our partnership with clients with a new, direct presence in the country,” he said.
Leach does not consider Myanmar’s infrastructure as a challenge.
“Network connection is improving over time in Myanmar. We have seen a lot of progress with regard to network connection. So, we do not see it as a problem,” he said.
Biswajit Jha, vice president and managing director for Asean, shared a similar view.
“It depends on how you look at it – whether it is a challenge or an opportunity. We see it as an |opportunity. Today, everybody has a smart phone in Myanmar, and infrastructure is developing very rapidly.
You have to come across the learning phase for smooth transition [to cashless society],” he said.
“Everything is about convenience. If it is convenient to you, you would go for that,” added Jha.
Sachin Handoo, senior director for Indochina and South Asia, said that a stable power supply should be provided to ensure that equipments are running properly.