Aug 1, 2011

Asia Green Development Bank launches e-banking

Tycoon Tay Za’s Asia Green Development Bank (AGD) has launched on Wednesday an online telephone bill payment service on behalf of the Ministry of Telecommunications, Post & Telegraphs, according to sources at the bank in Yangon.

In doing so, AGD becomes the first firm in Myanmar to offer online banking, also known as “e-banking.”

The service charge for an online transaction to pay a telephone bill is 500 kyat [US $0.60] and the bank is working to extend its e-banking service to ATM machines and debit cards in the near future.

The official launch of the online service was marked by a sponsored event held at the Myanmar Information and Communication Technology Park in Ynagon on Wednesday.

AGD's e-banking service narrowly pips state-run bank Myanma Economic Bank, which also launched its own online telephone payment service this week.

In May several companies were given permission to set up private banks. Tay Za formed the Asia Green Development Bank, and Zaw Zaw of the Max Myanmar group founded the Ayeyarwady Bank.

The IGE Group of Companies, run by Nay Aung and Pyi Aung,founded the Amara United Bank; Chit Khaing of Eden Group formed the Myanma Leading Bank.

According to businessmen in Yangon, the Myanma Leading Bank is currently popular among customers for good service. It has hired former staffers of the Asia Wealth Bank which was closed down by the authorities in 2003.

Myanmar's financial authorities have recently introduced an online banking network system in six banks: Yoma Bank, Myanmar Citizen Bank, Tun Foundation Bank, Myawaddy Bank, Myanmar Industrial Development Bank and Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank.

The banking network is under the operational supervision of two national IT companies: the Myanmar Information Technology Co, owned by Aung Soe Tha, the son of former minister Soe Tha; and Global Net, run by Toe Naing Mann, a son of Lower House Speaker ex-Gen Shwe Mann.

From 1992 to 1997, at least 20 banks were founded, according to data from the Central Bank of Myanmar. Among them, the Asia Wealth Bank, Myanmar May Flowers Bank and Kanbawza Bank are arguably the best known.

Source: Irrawaddy