Capabilities in Digital Financial Services

Calming the fears of Myanmar’s unbanked

Myanmar’s push to expand access to financial services is five years old. Awareness of new digital tools has increased, and people are more prepared to enter the financial system than at any point in history. However, Myanmar still trails far behind the rest of Asia in rates of participation in formal financial services, financial literacy, savings rates, and the use of digital financial services.

The barriers of digital literacy, financial capabilities, and the gap in gender access stand in the way of full inclusion and financial health. Training people in what value mobile phones can add to life and how to protect themselves in the digital world is the forgotten foundation. Training people in how to wield various financial channels to improve financial health is usually reduced to a lecture delinked from reality. Considering how to balance out the gender gap is often an afterthought.

This white paper shares key learnings from ONOW’s digital platform Build3, which was created to rectify these issues. In the recently completed six-month pilot, the system generated 25,000 capable leads for financial institutions from a user base of 166,000 users. 52 percent of users were women. And 90 percent of users had never made a purchase online. Build3 will facilitate the entry of millions into Myanmar’s burgeoning digital financial services system.

About this Publication

By Matthew Wallace