Nov 26, 2011

ATMs find favour with users

The public’s vote is in and people have overwhelmingly chosen automatic teller machines, spokespersons for a number of private banks said last week.

Even though ATMs have only been available for a fortnight, Kanbawza Bank’s assistant general manager U Thaw Zayya said they have already received strong interest from clients, adding that the service is available through “current” accounts.

“If customers appreciate this service a lot, we will get more current account holders, which is good for us because we don’t have to offer high interest rates on those accounts and means more money for the bank,” he said.

“But ATMs also make banking much easier for clients who can withdraw money whenever they need it,” he said.

U Thaw Zayya said the bank planned to upgrade its services to allow deposits to be made at ATMs, as well as withdrawals.

Co-operative Bank (CB Bank) managing director U Phey Myint said that about 100 customers a day were opening current accounts, adding that 1000 new customers had signed up to the ATM-linked accounts.

He added that the bank will begin offering an electronic point of sale payment system – elsewhere called Eftpos – in collaboration with Sein Gay Har by early December after receiving approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar. The system will also extend to Taw Win Centre on Pyay Road and Diamond Plaza in Mandalay, he said.

According to several banking sources, there are about 15 ATMs in service in Myanmar.

U Phey Myint said a system connecting the different banks called the Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) will be completed in March.

The MPU network would allow ATM card holders to use any machine, regardless of the bank, to withdraw money or pay for shopping. He said that service would probably be available in early April.

He added that CB Bank opened five ATMs on November 1 but has expanded to 12, with machines installed in Mandalay, Taungoo, Nay Pyi Taw and Pyinmana as well as Yangon.

Daw Ohnmar Sein, the executive director of Asia Green Development (AGD) bank, said Myanmar’s banking system was moving from cash to card, which improves safety for customers.

Source: Myanmar Times