The Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Central Bank of Myanmar

National Payment System in Myanmar

National Payment and Settlement Systems in Myanmar

1. What is Payment and Settlement System?

A payment and settlement system in general is a framework to carry out smooth delivery of funds and/or securities between individuals, business and financial institutions. It comprises a set of payment instruments, procedures, rules, and technical facilities used to implement cleaning, transfer of funds and/or securities, and final settlement. Most payment systems nowadays are supported by IT infrastructures such as hardware, software, and communication networks.

2. Legal Aspects of Payment and Settlement Systems

The Central Bank of Myanmar Law, Financial Institutions Law, and Anti-money Laundering Law are legal basis for operation and oversight of payment and settlement systems as a whole including participants.

The Central Bank of Myanmar Law (2013) states developing efficient, fast, safe and reliable national payment and settlement systems is one of the main responsibilities of the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM). Financial Institution Law (2016) then emphasizes CBM is to formulate, adopt and monitor the implementation of a payment system policy of Myanmar. In line with these obligations, the CBM has made policies, regulations and rules related to the payment and settlement systems in light of globalization in economic activities and rapid progress in information technology.

The regulations are designed not only to provide safe, smooth and efficient payment and settlement systems but to protect the interest of all parties involved in payment services. The CBM therefore has a mandate for issuing licenses to payment service providers and oversight of these institutions.

The CBM in the process of making policies considers mitigating risks and improving efficiency and safety of the payment and settlement systems, such as introduction of an RTGS (real time gross settlement) system for inter-bank transactions. As a result of our continuous efforts, dramatic improvement in payment system activities is being achieved in line with the increasing public needs for both cash and non-cash payment instruments.

3. Development of High Value (Wholesale) Payment and Settlement System: CBM-NET RTGS

The Central Bank of Myanmar Financial Network System (CBM-NET) is a payment and settlement system that processes online funds transfers and Myanmar Government Treasury bond (T-bond) and bill (T-bill) settlements between financial institutions in real time and gross basis (called RTGS: Real Time Gross Settlement System). The CBM-NET began its first operation in January 2016 as a response to the growing awareness of need for sound risk management. The CBM-NET connects CBM head office/branches and all financial institutions including domestic and foreign banks and securities companies through a secured network. The CBM-NET equips functions of wholesale and retail funds transfers in Myanmar Kyat and designated foreign currencies, Central Securities Depository (CSD) for T-bond/bill, credit and collateral management, intra-day overdraft facilities, and Delivery Versus Payment (DVP). The system also settles net positions of other payment systems, such as Myanmar Payment Union: MPU (ATM and POS switching network), Mechanized Clearing House: MCH (cheque and payment order clearing system), the deposit auctions system, and the T-bond/bill auction system. The CBM-NET therefore became a foundation today for Myanmar financial market development.

3-1. Funds settlement (High Value)

The Real time processing of funds debit and credit from/to participants’ current accounts held at CBM for each transaction (not netting) is to promise participants to disregard counter-party risks when settling interbank transactions especially in high value. CBM-NET performs CBM transactions such as deposit/withdrawal of banknotes as well as inter-bank funds transactions. The CBM-NET participants can inquire balance of its current account held at CBM in a real time basis for their liquidity and reserve management.

3-2. Securities settlement and Central Securities Depository (CSD)

The CBM-NET provides a single book entry system for dematerialized Myanmar Government treasury bonds and bills (T-Bill/Bond) so that transfer of securities ownership can be made electronically on real time basis. The participants are allowed to perform securities transactions for their own accounts and to make inquiry on it including its balance. In the meantime, CBM can handle T-bill/bond businesses on behalf of Myanmar Government such businesses as issuance, coupon payment, and redemption. The calculation and settlement of T-bond/bill coupon payment and redemption at maturity are made automatically in the CBM-NET.

3-3. Delivery versus Payment (DVP)

The CBM-NET provides a risk free settlement method for interbank trading of securities through a function of Delivery versus Payment (DVP). DVP is to settle two linked obligations (payment of cash and delivery of securities) simultaneously. It is therefore the safest settlement in a sense that delivery of securities are made only if payment occurs. The introduction of DVP helps Myanmar money and bond market develop in depth.

3-4. Collateral Management and Intra-day Overdraft Facility

The CBM-NET enables participants and CBM manage collaterals pledged from/to counter- parties. This can be used for inter-bank borrowing/lending, discount window (borrowing from CBM), and intra-day overdraft for the purpose of CBM-NET settlement, which minimizes liquidity problems of the participants.

3-5. Other Improvement

In accordance with provisions under the CBM law, the CBM developed a set of rules and guidelines relevant to the CBM-NET and MCH for the purpose of security and effectiveness of the payment and settlement systems. In order for the CBM-NET and MCH to work effectively, the CBM has achieved dematerialization of T-bond and T-bill, T-Bond reopening, standardization of cheques and payment orders, introduction of intra-day liquidity facility, and so on.

4. Development of Retail Payment Systems

4-1. CBM-NET Customer Credit Transfer (CCT)

CBM-NET provides RTGS based customer credit transfer instruments to encourage individuals and business to access safe, efficient and reliable banking systems. The system also benefits financial intuitions from fast payment process and reducing settlement and operational risks. In this regard, the CBM enables online tax payments through the CBM-NET by connecting it to Internal Revenue Department (IRD) and plans for further expansion to other areas of government revenue and expenditure operations.

4-2. Mechanical Clearing House (MCH)

In parallel to the CBM-NET development, the CBM engaged in upgrading manual cheque and payment order clearing operations to the mechanized clearing system so called MCH (Mechanical Clearing House System). The mechanized processing of cheques using Magnetic Ink Character Recognition (MICR) technology has been introduced first in Myanmar and all CBM clearing houses operate nowadays use the MCH.

4-3. ATM, POS and CARD switch by Myanmar Payment Union: MPU

Promoting cash-less economy to reduce burden of handling currency notes and to reduce the currency in circulation within the country, the CBM encourages financial institutions to issue debit/credit cards and to establish ATMs all across the country through the Myanmar Payment Union network. Later on this network may be linked to ASEAN Payment Network (APN). Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) was organized by state owned and private banks in 2011. The purpose of MPU is to provide the ATM and POS switching services among the banks. The use of MPU cards at ATM and POS has started in September 14, 2012. As a result, all bank card holders can withdraw and check their balance, remit their funds at any ATMs, and make payments at any POS terminals located nationwide and at e-commerce websites. CBM then permits international card schemes such as VISA, MasterCard and JCB doing credit and debit card business in Myanmar with the aim to promote cashless payment.

4-4. Mobile Wallet

The advent of mobile phone technologies and digital currency allows to move the unbanked into formal financial sector in Myanmar. The CBM – using the momentum in rapid spread of mobile phones – established a framework and Mobile Financial Service regulations to enable Mobile Network Operators (MNO) operate mobile wallet services particularly for citizens who do not have access to banks. The regulation guarantees customer protection and risk mitigations measures so that users can feel safe to make remittance their digital money nationwide. The CBM also leads and governs standardization of QR code payments for both merchant and customer present, which will enable interoperable payments across payment services.

5. Next Generation of CBM-NET

Since the successful implementation of CBM-NET, the Central Bank of Myanmar now engages in next generation (CBM-NET2) of the CBM-NET in reaction to growing credit demand in the private sector, expanding inflow of foreign investments, diversification of financial transactions as exemplified by mobile banking services, interoperability of the payment systems, improving the resiliency of national payment systems, and movement of building ASEAN cross-border settlement infrastructures.

It is expected that the CBM-NET2 will go live in 2020 with major functions such as Straight-Through Processing (STP), international standards (ISO20022), Liquidity Saving Facility (bilateral and multi-lateral offsetting) / Message Queuing, Automated Clearing House including rapid retail payment (fast payment) and bulk payment, cheque truncation, DVP with collateral: DVPC (known as SPDC or auto-collateralization in other countries) and remote disaster recovery facilities.

In the meantime, the CBM continues to further improve national payment and settlement systems so that it would beef up Myanmar economy and enhance access to financial systems nationwide.

 

Weighted-average (WA) Market Exchange Rate

MMK per USD - Date 27th October 2020

Reference Exchange rate
(WA market rate)
1,287.2
Interbank Market WA rate 1,287.5
Bank-customer Market WA rate

1,286.8

CBM announces daily Reference Exchange Rate every working day at 4:00 PM, based on deals between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM.

  • Methodology on determination of Reference Exchange Rate is available here

MMK Exchange rate for other currencies are available here (forex.cbm.gov.mm)

Interest Rate(%)
Central Bank Rate 7%pa
Minimum Bank Deposit Rate 5%pa

Maximum Bank Lending Rate (Secured)

Maximum Bank Lending Rate (Unsecured)

10%pa

 

14.5%pa

Economic Indicators (%)
GDP Growth Rate
2018-2019 FY
(October to September)
6.80 %
Annual Rate of Inflation
(August 2020)
6.43 %
Year on Year Inflation
(August 2020)
1.84 %

     Source : Ministry of Planning and Finance