SINGAPORE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The first ATM installed in Myanmar became the first to accept an international payments card as announced by Co-operative Bank Ltd (CB Bank) and MasterCard Worldwide today.
The transaction was made using a MasterCard card at the headquarters of CB Bank on the corner of 23rd Street and Strand Road in Yangon. Myanmar’s first ATM was installed at the same location in November 2011.
This comes hot on the heels of the September announcement which saw MasterCard Worldwide become the first international payments network to issue a license to a Myanmar bank, paving the way for branded cards to be issued and accepted in the country for the first time.
Tourists and business travelers with an international MasterCard, Maestro or Cirrus card will now be able to withdraw money, and in the local currency or ‘kyat’, for the first time at 36 CB Bank ATMs around Myanmar, including Yangon International Airport. CB Bank is one of the most established commercial banks in Myanmar, with the largest ATM network in the country.
Mr. Kyaw Lynn, Executive Chairman and CEO, CB Bank said: “This is a very important step forward for our country. This coincides with CB Bank’s 20th anniversary of establishment. This is indeed a historic milestone for our country, CB Bank and MasterCard. We are very glad to be able to contribute to the economic development of Myanmar by pioneering the move to a global electronic payments system.”
Mr. Kyaw Lynn added: “Enabling the first international transaction, at CB Bank’s ATM, opens up opportunities for business, retail and tourism for our country. The hotel and tourism industry will especially benefit from this service. We are expecting a large influx of foreign visitors during the South East Asia Games (SEA Games) scheduled in December, 2013. The ability to use MasterCard at Point-of-Sales (POS) terminals is expected to be available within four months. Myanmar citizens traveling overseas can also expect to be able to use MasterCard within a year from now.”
Mr. Pe Myint, Managing Director, CB Bank, added: “The promise of a more connected future through electronic payments will have an equally huge impact on business and the development of country. MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus cardholders will no longer have to worry about running out of cash when visiting this Golden Land.”
Mr. Antonio Corró, country manager & chief representative, Indochina, MasterCard Worldwide, said the acceptance of international payments cards by Co-Operative Bank Limited ATMs would benefit Myanmar’s growing business and tourism sectors.
“With Myanmar’s economy showing promising signs of growth and with more tourists and business travelers visiting the country, it is important that the appropriate payments channels are developed to cater to that demand,” Mr. Corró added.
“This marks the first time an international payment card is being used at an ATM in Myanmar, which is a historic moment and a huge step for MasterCard in this market. The next step is to develop and support the existing infrastructure and further electronic payments acceptance to accommodate the growth of the business and tourism sectors in Myanmar,” Mr. Corró concluded.
Note to Editors:
- The license agreement with Co-Operative Bank Limited enables merchants in Myanmar to accept MasterCard payment cards, giving them access to commerce and the ability to participate in the open, global payments system that MasterCard enables. Merchants will also benefit from being part of a network of thousands of issuing and acquiring financial institutions and their suppliers and partners.
- Research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)1 earlier this year forecasted that Myanmar’s economy would expand by 5.2 percent in 2012-13. International air arrivals2 alone jumped by 63% between 2009 and 2010, and a further 32% between 2010 and 2011, more than doubling from 100,439 in 2009 to 216,861 in 2011.
About MasterCard Worldwide
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1 EIU report ‘Myanmar: White Elephant or New Tiger Economy?’
2 Data from Myanmar Statistical Organisation