EDC’s Samee Zafar met with Jojo Malolos, CEO of  Wing (Cambodia) Limited Specialised Bank. It is a leading mobile banking services provider with the commitment of providing financial inclusion via mobile banking services to the unbanked and under-banked. Launched in 2009, Wing has provided ways for Cambodians to send and receive money anytime, anywhere with the use of a mobile phone.

How are mobile financial services changing the lives of people in South East Asia?

The availability and affordability of more smartphones in the unbanked markets of Southeast Asia plus the more simplistic nature by which financial services are being introduced have made people more aware of the financial products and the benefits of financial services and therefore adopt quickly.

As such, experiencing the benefits of having access to financial services becomes real. Getting the people on payroll makes them appreciate Cash In more, allows them to work within their apps to send money, pay their bills, pay their loans, buy airtime like they are on a bank online system. The MFI borrowers, micro-entrepreneurs, micro-merchants understand the value of keeping the funds in the system as loan funds get disbursed electronically, as payments for products and services are now electronically transferred account to account and concept of settlement for microbusinesses between them and their suppliers become easily acceptable as funds are being transferred from one wallet to another. As consumers pay digitally, the sense of security and having funds in the wallet is enhanced. As the ecosystem matures, opportunities to set up businesses, to become agents are created and these improve lives, enhances remote economies that further impact lives in communities.

Does WING aspire to be the M-Pesa of Cambodia or does it have a different vision for the future?
As a Specialised Bank, the aspiration is to create a viable and profitable ecosystem of agents, consumers, corporates, merchants, billers, MFIs, government that penetrate remote economies and population, facilitate financial services transactions that will create and fuel businesses, enhance efficiency of flow of funds that generate income. This will eventually be even bigger than the formal banking system creating an alternative financial infrastructure that caters to EVERYBODY.If this is the M-Pesa aspiration, then Wing becomes the M-Pesa of Cambodia.

3. What emerging technologies do you think will help enable unbanked consumers to use digital financial services (DFS)?

The new phenomenon sweeping DFS is the availability of smartphones and this largely contributes to simplifying the use of financial services Emerging technologies across the value chain of DFS will make adoption faster. E-KYC approaches to registration, UBERfying cash in through ‘human ATMs’, systems that convert loyalty credits to currency, peer to peer lending.Social media payments and cash transfers are getting some interest as micro-entrepreneurs bring their products and services to the social media channels.

Other than work, what are your interests? What do you do in your free time?

I have a keen interest in traveling and learning a lot more about different cultures. I travel as frequently with my wife and tick off bucket list activities in different countries. My free time in Cambodia is spent with colleagues for company activities and with friends going to provinces and different places, enjoying the local atmosphere over a weekend.