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Best domestic bank
Best corporate and investment bank
|Kyaw Lynn, CB Bank|
For a country where approximately 90% of the population is unbanked, Myanmar is flush with banks. But the sector is dominated by just a handful of private institutions. Among them, CB Bank is the most impressive, with a strategy that targets retail, SMEs and corporations, and gaining strength from an intriguing digital approach.
Best international bank
|Daniel Tan, OCBC|
Best digital bank
Internet and mobile have become ubiquitous terms in Myanmar’s financial industry. All of the top names, as well as smaller banks, have rolled out digital services, including payments apps and e-wallets. But CB Bank is Asiamoney’s best digital bank because alongside its increasingly popular smartphone app it is pursuing an internal digital and technological transformation that will improve its operations and boost market share.
CB Bank first introduced mobile banking in 2014, rolling out internet banking the following year and its CB Pay mobile banking app in 2018. In January this year, it became the first bank to enable customers to pay their taxes digitally.
CB Bank decided against creating its own e-wallet and competing in a saturated market, instead partnering with telecoms operator, Ooredoo, which launched its M-Pitesan e-wallet in 2017.
CB Bank also offers point-of-sale terminals. By the end of 2019 it had 8,000 merchants using more than 10,000 terminals, which can process 10 payment systems, including Alipay, Apple Pay, Mastercard and Visa.
Last year, CB Bank hired Bogdan Putnikovic as chief information and operation officer. It is now looking at ways to take advantage of technologies such as blockchain, biometrics, cloud computing and virtual reality.
The bank brought together a new data science team to analyze the data generated by its nearly one million mobile banking users. Analytics and algorithms are adding value across the bank, for example in customer relationship management.
CB Bank has launched a human resources mobile app for its employees, giving them access to HR-related information and a learning and development portal.
In a search for international financial technology partners, the bank opened its Innovation Lab on the API-Exchange (Apix) in October 2019. Apix – an Asean Financial Innovation Network initiative – is the world’s first cross-border, open-architecture platform for bringing together financial institutions and fintech firms. CB Bank is the first bank from the region to join.
The bank is set to open its first so-called smart branches, which are kitted out with terminals for form filling, telling and passbook update services. Using the smart branches customers will be able open and access savings accounts and internet bank accounts.
Best bank for SMEs
Best bank for CSR
|Mike DeNoma, KBZ|
Best for microfinance
|Gonzalo Gonzalez, DAWN|
By using Ongo for cash collections and provisioning, Dawn increased its loan officers’ productivity and safety by reducing the time spent counting cash and reducing the risks of carrying large quantities of money.