Nov 15, 2012

MasterCard introduced as 1st int'l electronic payment card in Myanmar

MasterCard was introduced as the first international electronic payment card in Myanmar operational with the first automatic tellers machine (ATM) installed in the country.

The introduction of the card is aimed at developing and supporting the existing infrastructure and further electronic payments acceptance to accommodate the growth of the business and tourism sectors in Myanmar, an official of the Cooperative Bank ( CB) authorized to offer service with MasterCard told Xinhua..

MasterCard Worldwide had issued a license to the CB in September this year,

Tourist and business travelers with MasterCard, Maestro or Cirrus card will now be able to withdraw money in local currency ( Kyat) at 36 CB Bank's ATMs across the country, including that in Yangon International Airport.

Using MasterCard at points-of-sale is expected to be available at hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops etc., within four months while Myanmar citizens traveling overseas can also expect to be able to use MasterCard within a year from now, Rona Rakhit, head of Business Development and Strategic Initatives Group of CB Bank told Xinhua.

The move is timely made in preparation for the upcoming Myanmar- hosted 27th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in late 2013.

Meanwhile, Visa, one of the international credit cards, has signed deals with three Myanmar private banks -- Kanbawza Bank, Cooperative Bank and Myanmar Oriental Bank in Yangon for launching its card with the three banks' automatic tellers machine (ATM) and points-of-sale.

At present, 17 private banks have participated in the MPU program and all private banks would join in soon.

There is a total of 19 private banks and four state-owned banks in Myanmar.

The move-in of the international bank cards came after the United States eased some financial sanctions on the country, before which foreign visitors were unable to use international credit cards on account of such sanctions on money transactions since 2003.

CB Bank, a private bank in Myanmar, is one of the most established commercial banks in Myanmar, with the largest ATM network in the country.

CB bank has 29 local branches in the country. CB bank launched the first ATM in Myanmar in November 2011.

Source: Xinhua