London & Yangon, Myanmar, 17 February 2020 – In its quest to bring real life business problems into its curriculum, London Business School MBA Class of 2019 partnered with KBZ Bank in Myanmar to bring an exceptional financial inclusion product to the market with dramatic results. The results were used to shape KBZ Bank mobile payment app, KBZPay.
Leading the effort to achieve 100% financial inclusion in Myanmar, KBZ Bank has leveraged new
technology and brought banking beyond the branch through KBZPay. Over the past year, KBZPay has continued its momentum as the fastest growing mobile wallet in Myanmar, bringing on-board more than 4.5 million customers and 280,000 Merchants and Agents.
One of the tasks for London Business School MBA students, as part of their Performance-Driven
Strategy Execution course, was to guide the leadership team at KBZ Bank through specific challenges. One of these challenges was how to utilize its 18,000 strong work-force, mostly branch staff, to execute the biggest digital product launch ever attempted in the region. Another was how to build and manage a network of agents and merchants in a country with a population of 55 million people across 63 Districts, more than 300 cities and towns and 65,000 villages.
Mike DeNoma, CEO of KBZ Bank said, “Working with the best and the brightest always bears fruit. Many of their innovative recommendations are embedded in our business plans.”
One year on, KBZPay customers across Myanmar can now access the most essential financial services all day and night in the palm of their hands. Significantly, one in three KBZPay customers are from areas other than Yangon Region, Mandalay Region and Shan State, reflecting the progress to reach people with little or no access to banking or other formal financial services.
“As we transform our bank to world-class standards, it is a delight to be able to work with one of the best business schools in the world. Myanmar is growing rapidly on every measure and working with LBS enables us to be at the front of business and management thinking, quickly implementing learnings into real-life business scenarios,” said Nang Lang Kham, Deputy CEO, KBZ Bank.
To date, KBZPay has facilitated more than USD 3.3 billion in transactions. The highest rate of transactions facilitated by KBZPay thus far was 240 transactions per second. In addition, more than 50 percent of businesses that use KBZPay for transactions are owned by women.
Ahmed Tahoun, the Professor at London Business School who designed and taught the course said, “To be involved in such a huge success, record breaking on many different levels, is a testament to the MBA class of 2019. Being able to be involved in real-time, live case studies added a new dimension to the curriculum and to our MBA programme.”
Looking forward, KBZPay will strive towards achieving its goal of reaching 30 million KBZPay customers by 2028, to connect families and friends and embed them in a modern, mobile-first financial ecosystem that supports their digital lifestyles. London Business School will be looking for further opportunities to collaborate real-time with organisations facing strategic business transformation. Both KBZ Bank and London Business School will be launching new collaborations in the coming months – ensuring the highest level of business education is embedded in real-life, real-time impactful experiences.