Aug 28, 2012

Myanmar to introduce int'l bank cards services successively

Myanmar will introduce services for internationally circulated bank cards successively for foreigners as a follow-up program of the Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) card for local citizens, sources with the Myanmar Cooperative Bank said on Monday.

MPU will be first introduced in September which allows customers to withdraw money at the automatic teller machines (ATM) of local participating banks and buy goods at some designated stores.

Negotiations are underway to bring in China UnionPay and Japan Credit Bureau and then Visa card which are to realize by early 2013, most probably to catch up with the time when the Southeast Asian Games is to be held in Myanmar in late 2013.

Allowing Visa card to operate in the country would be another step forward for Myanmar's banking sector and would have positive improvement in the tourism industry of the nation that could attract more foreign investors and tourists, bankers said.

At present, 17 private banks have participated in the MPU program and all private banks would join in soon, U Pe Myint, managing director of the Cooperative Bank Ltd., told Xinhua.
He added that users are required to open account with eight of the MPU member banks so far.

ATM began service in Myanmar in November 2011 with six private banks, namely Cooperative Bank, Kanbawza bank, Asia Green Development bank, Myawaddy bank, Myanmar Citizens bank and Ayeyarwady bank.

There is a total of 19 private banks and four state-owned banks in Myanmar.
The state-owned banks are Myanma Economic Bank, Myanma Foreign Trade Bank, Myanma Investment and Commercial Bank and Myanmar Agricultural Development Bank.

Source:  Xinhua