INTERVIEW of Myanmar Economic Bank General Manager Daw Hsint Hsint Aung and MRTV reporter Myo Zar Zar Oo broadcast on 6 June:
Q. When did the mobile payment system start? How is the mobile payment process working?
A. Mobile payment system is deposit and withdrawal of money and topping up the phone credits by using the mobile phone. The mobile payment system started on 15 October 2015. Currently, retired service personnel can withdraw pension payments, since 22 February 2016. About 146 retired service personnel are withdrawing the money by using mobile payment system.
Q. Can people still use the old pension book and E-pension card system?
A. It depends on the retired person. We allow them either to use the pension book or E-pension card, ATM card or mobile phone.
Q. Can you share the difference between the mobile system and the previous system? What are the strengths?
A. The strengths of the mobile payment system are:
1. For example. the retired person who withdraws their pension at the branch banks in Yangon Region can withdraw the pension at Myanma economic branch banks or at other agencies in Mandalay or other regions. Withdrawing the pension online can save time.
2. Previously, retired persons withdraw their entire pension when using their E-pension card. For example, if his pension is Ks 100,000, he has to withdraw the entire Ks 100,000.
But with mobile payments, the retired persons can withdraw partial amounts.
Q. What is the aim of introducing the mobile payment system?
A. 1. to save time, 2. to promote modern banking systems and 3. to enable withdrawing of pensions wherever you are.
Q. How do pensioners have to withdraw the money?
A. They may need a phone, which can be MPT or MEC Tel Sim Cards. Moreover, they need to register their mobile phones to be able to use mobile payment system.
Q. Can you please tell me the instructions as to how to register the mobile phone to use the mobile payment system?
A. Pensioners using keypad phones must send a “join” message to 1666 or use *666# USSD code.
Smartphone users can register in either Myanmar or English language via the application. The bank will send an SMS message to the pensioners to acknowledge that their persons have been credited to their accounts on the 18th of every month. After that, the retired salary can be withdrawn their pensions from the mobile phone.
Q. Do you have anything to add?
A. Under the direction of the union minister for planning and finance, the authorities are providing awareness of the mobile payment system through state-owned newspapers and pamphlets. As a result, more and more pensioners are using the mobile payment system and the ATM system. In fact, they can be said to be participating in the financial inclusion programme of the ministry.