27 March 2024

On 5 February 2024, the Central Bank of Myanmar (“CBM”) issued a directive on agent banking services (“Directive”) which applies to banks that appoint “agents”. 

The Directive defines an “agent” as any business entity partnering through an agency agreement with a bank approved by CBM to provide banking services. Agent banking can help developing economies offer banking services to people who do not have bank accounts and increase the rate of financial inclusion in an economy.

The Directive sets out the roles and responsibilities of banks, agents, and CBM. It also mandates the establishment of a framework by banks for their agent banking services, promoting comprehensive financial inclusion and increased participation in the financial system. 

Also outlined in the Directive are the range of services that can be offered under agent banking including facilitating cash deposits and withdrawals, collecting bill payments and fund transfers, and domestic remittances. 

The Directive also sets out specific criteria for entities seeking to become agents which includes requiring a formal agreement between the bank and the agent for such services and for the agent to have a minimum of two years of business experience.