Telenor’s Valyou receives UNCDF support for financial inclusion in Myanmar

Valyou, a service from Telenor Group, will provide low-cost international remittance services to Myanmar in its effort to promote greater financial inclusion in Southeast Asia. Through Valyou’s international remittance platform, Myanmar nationals in Thailand and Malaysia will soon be able to send money directly to their family and friends back home.

Valyou’s international remittance service to Myanmar is supported by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) under its Shaping Inclusive Finance Transformations (SHIFT) programme.

Wave Money, a joint venture between Telenor Group, First Myanmar Investment (FMI) and Yoma Bank, will serve as the local disbursement partner in using its e-wallet service, pending regulatory approval.

Valyou is a recipient of the UNCDF SHIFT Challenge Fund alongside three other ASEAN financial technology firms, TransferTo (from Singapore), AMK Microfinance (Cambodia) and Singtel Dash (Singapore). The award is granted by UNCDF to develop international remittance as a catalyst for financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment in Southeast Asia.

Valyou head of product and marketing, Ms Jasbir Baldew said “With the UNCDF support and the Wave Money partnership, Valyou will be able to fast-track the implementation of a robust remittance network between the three countries. Our core values are very much aligned with the needs for greater financial inclusion and women’s economic empowerment in Southeast Asia.”

“By encouraging women in Myanmar to receive and manage money through Wave Money e-wallet, we hope we can empower them to develop their creditworthiness so that they can better access conventional financial services.”

“Working together with Wave Money, we are committed to serving a wide network of locations at both the sending and receiving ends – from major cities like Yangon and Mandalay to the extremely remote places in Kachin state, Chin state and Rakhine State,” Ms Baldew said.

The financial technology pioneered by Valyou enables migrant workers and other underbanked communities in Malaysia and Thailand to manage their money and perform financial transactions digitally.

These communities are largely excluded from the mainstream financial services normally offered by retail banks due to their difficult to reach locations, limited operating hours and other restrictions imposed such as high initial deposit amount and expensive banking fees and charges.

Valyou head of sales, Mr Prasanna Rao said, “Since the launch of Valyou mobile wallet app in Malaysia, we have been able to serve the underbanked communities by offering a secure and accessible way for them to manage their money. Our work supports financial inclusion initiatives set out by Bank Negara and other central banks in the region.”

“We are encouraged by Valyou Mobile Wallet users to continuously improve the digital financial services that we provide. We hope to bring the learnings and insights gained from serving the underbanked communities in Malaysia to Thailand and Myanmar,” added Mr Rao.

Valyou is licensed and regulated as a money services business (MSB) and authorised to issue e-money by Bank Negara Malaysia. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the financial services and technology company is a subsidiary of Telenor Group, one of the world’s leading telecommunication operators.

Source: Finextra

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