Home Insider Interview “Our Biggest Competitor in Myanmar is Cash”

“Our Biggest Competitor in Myanmar is Cash”

Interview with Pyay Nyein
Country Head of 2C2P Myanmar

Please explain our readers about 2C2P.

2C2P is a leading payment service provider in Southeast Asia (SEA), founded in 2003 by Aung Kyaw Moe.  In 2003, it was started as an ISV (Independent Software Vendor) and provided a payment authentication solution, 3D Secure Systems to banking sector in Thailand. In 2004, he started another company called PaySbuy (Pronounce as Pay Sabai, means, Pay Conveniently) as a Payment Gateway for SMEs. It received the first eMoney license issued by Central Bank of Thailand. The company was eventually sold to DTAC (Telenor’s sister company and second largest mobile operator in Thailand) in 2007.  Currently 2C2P offers a number of comprehensive and cutting-edge Omni-channels payment services, allowing merchants to accept local and international payments through credit card, debit card, ibanking, mBanking, Wallets and cash acceptance via payment counter.  2C2P is now headquartered in Singapore and have 14 different subsidiaries including Myanmar.  

In Myanmar, 2C2P offers Enterprise solutions, Payment acquiring platform, Card issuing services and Billing center to B2B customers/partners.  2C2P partners with MPU (Myanmar Payment Union) to offer Myanmar’s first eCommerce payment platform for MPU card holders since 2015.   For unbanked population, 2C2P offers 123 network, where customers can enjoy online ecommerce transactions and make payments using alternative payment channels including over the counter cash payment.

Recognized for our contribution in transforming Myanmar digital economy and fin-tech space, 2C2P Myanmar was recently awarded as ‘Best FinTech Startup’ by ASEAN Rice Bowl.

How did you start your career and how did you end up in this position as the Country Head?

I started my career as a software developer, I then moved to DBA as I found my passion in Data and Analytical tools.  I lived in the UK for 15 years, spent my time there as Database and BI professional and have experience in various industry sectors such as Education, Manufacturing, Marketing, Software Security and HealthCare. 

I came back to Myanmar in late 2014 and joined 2C2P in 2015, firstly to look after our databases and later on to lead Engineering and Business Development teams.  Since the Fintech industry was new to me, I had a lot of things to learn and catch up when I joined 2C2P.  Fast forward 4 years, I am still learning as we have a vast amount of services and products at 2C2P and Fintech sector is changing rapidly.  As an analytical minded person, I am very excited to be in this industry.  When the opportunity came to me to join 2C2P Myanmar Management team, it was out of my comfort zone, however my new affection to Fintech industry and 2C2P company culture strengthened my belief to take up the challenges.  I was then appointed as Country Head in 2017 to oversee all the 2C2P operations in Myanmar.  

What are your primary responsibilities?

Since 2017, I have been leading 2C2P Myanmar as a Country Head and I am responsible for all the operations in Myanmar.  Apart from day to day operations, my focus is to build a high performance workforce and to create a positive working environment, which enables creativity among workers as well as promotes teamwork. 

Continuous Personal Development is a must for all our employees and we have a system to support this…

With this highly talented and trained workforce, we serve our merchants and partners with innovative technologies and quality services. Another focus is to support Myanmar digital economy by collaboration with other payment players and eCommerce merchants in the region, and to develop and promote the Alternative Payment Networks which will enable local unbanked population to transact digitally.

What kind of services 2C2P provide for local and international companies?

2C2P is the payments platform of choice for many leading local and international companies.  2C2P provides comprehensive alternative payment methods around the region and works with all the card schemes such as Visa, MasterCard. 2C2P serves businesses like Lazada, Agoda, Zara, and Thai Airways.

To simply put, 2C2P helps global companies to accept payments from Southeast Asia and 2C2P helps Southeast Asia companies to accept payment globally…

In Myanmar, we partner with banks to offer a payment acquiring platform and 123 platform for local and international merchants to serve their customers with online transactions.  We also partner with banks and retail organization to issue prepaid MasterCard, Dual brand debit card and store card.   

How do you intend to expand from being just a back-card payment system provider?

Providing efficient payment platform used by the large enterprises as their payment provider of choice is our deliberate market position and we intend to keep it this way. We are expanding our services horizontally to regions outside of Southeast Asia.

How do other regional countries fare in relation to Myanmar, for 2C2P?

Myanmar is still a largely uncharted area in the region for payment sector. Currently the government is promoting and opening up Banking and Insurance sectors.  When the international banks and insurance companies come into Myanmar, we could offer international solutions with the local flavors.  Vice Versa we are helping local companies to connect regional payment network.

What is the target market segment for 2C2P?

We mainly focus on B2B horizontal market segmentation.   In SEA region, we serve payment processing services to large merchants in various industries including Airline, Tourism, Telecom, Online Marketplace and eCommerce.  

In addition to international card scheme, increasingly more and more nations in our region build their own payment schemes/methods and private sector build their own wallets.  We have various wallets in Myanmar and it leads to fragmentation instead of consolidation on a national level.  It allows the customers to pay through their preferred methods and it is our job to consolidate many payment options as possible at the merchants’ check out page (credit card, wallet, ibanking, cash payment over the counter).  

Who are your major competitors and what are your competitive strategies here?

We compete with global and regional payment companies similar to us. However, our biggest competitor is cash. Cash payment still cover 90% of the transactions in Myanmar.  The lesser cash in the system, the more beneficial to everyone.   We believe in collaboration with other players in the payment domain to promote the digital ecosystem.

What are your future expansion plans?

To help the digital ecosystem in Myanmar to grow in faster rate and to promote digital literacy in local population. The more people become digital payment savvy, the more transactions will flow and the better economy it would become.

What are the critical success factors for payment solutions providers in Myanmar?

It is important to provide payment processing services with the local flavor.  We need to process locally as much as possible to improve transaction success and conversion rate, to reduce transaction cost, to benefit from low risk of fraud and chargeback, to lower the FX exposure risk, and to provide targeted marketing and collaboration opportunities with issuing banks.  This is the reason 2C2P has local offices across the region.  We want customers to feel at home when using their preferred payment methods wherever they go.  It would widen up customer base, improve conversion and increase ticket size.

What concrete steps can bank and financial companies take to use fin-tech to drive their businesses?

Fin-tech solutions can help bank and financial companies to serve increasingly digital customers, which leads to enhancing user experience, generating new businesses and increasing revenue.  It can also be used to promote Transparency within bank and financial institutions.  

Data in Myanmar may be sparse compared to other countries, how are you managing this?

We reference our regional data and technical know-how to improve our services and projection in Myanmar.  We are a PCIDSS Level 1 certified company, so we are very serious about data and information security.