National Bank of Canada has acquired a 22 per cent stake in ONGO, a leading mobile payments provider in Myanmar. ONGO is backed by Ronoc Asia, a subsidiary of the Ronoc which is an investment firm focusing on emerging markets. The Founder and Chairman of Ronoc Asia/ONGO, Mr. Michael Madden stated, “The addition of National Bank of Canada is an important milestone for our business. We have aggressive growth plans for Myanmar and have set ourselves a goal of providing over one million consumers with access to finance over the next three years.” He further stated,“The addition of NBC as a strategic investor will strengthen our capabilities and accelerate our timelines in Myanmar as well as our expansion to other markets in the region.” The terms of the deals have not been disclosed.
Ronoc was founded by Mr. Michael Madden in 2007 and is headquartered in Dublin. It focusses on retail financial services and fintech in emerging markets. ONGO was launched in Myanmar near the end of the year 2016 and just in few months it has already rolled out some payment services in Myanmar. It has partnered with Coca-Cola and Myanmar Oriental Bank in Myanmar and presently provides payroll services; P2P money transfer, B2B payments and phone bill top ups and utility bill payments using their application. As per the company, it has more than 200 cash agent locations in Yangon. The availability of mobile financial services in Myanmar is on the rise. However, this is very new for the local population which is used to handling cash and therefore the usage of these services might take some time to pick up.