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MasterCard Launches its First Contactless Card in Myanmar with CB Bank amid Optimistic Economic Outlook

March 26, 2016 Financial No Comments Print Print Email Email

According to MasterCard’s latest research, 61 percent of people in Myanmar are seeking to travel abroad more in the next 12 months, a stark increase from just 25 percent two years ago. To meet this growing demand for travel and cross-border spending, MasterCard together with Co-operative Bank Ltd (CB Bank) announced the launch of the CB EasiTravel Prepaid MasterCard Contactless card.

The latest of MasterCard’s efforts to better serve the people of Myanmar, the CB EasiTravel Prepaid MasterCard Contactless card provides consumers with a more convenient way to pay when travelling abroad without compromising security.

Mr. U Kyaw Lynn, CEO & Vice Chairman of CB Bank said, “More Myanmar citizens are making trips to neighboring countries than ever before, buoyed by recent relaxing of entry Visa restrictions. This trend will continue as the economy grows and gains traction. CB Bank is always looking for ways that will bring convenience to Myanmar travelers. CB Banks’s newly issued MasterCard Contactless card will give added convenience when making payments internationally.”

Mr. Antonio Corro, country manager, Thailand and Myanmar, MasterCard, said: “Earlier this month, it was announced that four foreign banks were issued preliminary approval to operate in Myanmar.[1] It is great to see the government taking further steps toward opening up Myanmar’s economy and we are optimistic that this will provide an excellent foundation for commerce to thrive. The people of Myanmar are also optimistic about the future of their country. MasterCard’s latest MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence recently revealed that people in Myanmar have the most positive outlook on the future of any Asia Pacific market. With the launch of the first MasterCard contactless card in the country, we are continuing to develop the local payment landscape and look forward to more partnership opportunities that allow us to further financially empower the people of Myanmar.”

Latest projections by the International Monetary Fund put Myanmar’s economic growth at around 8 percent for 2016.[2] As well as seeing a growth in outbound tourists, inbound tourism is set to significantly contribute to Myanmar’s growth in the coming years. According to the inaugural MasterCard Asia Pacific Destination Cities Index launched earlier this year, Myanmar’s former capital Yangon is expected to see very strong growth in inbound tourism. Of the 167 cities ranked, Yangon has the third highest compound annual growth rate of 45.7 percent for total inbound tourist expenditure over the period 2009-2015, just behind Kandy of Sri Lanka (47.3 percent) and Okinawa of Japan (49.0 percent).

As economic growth continues with Myanmar seeing both inbound and outbound tourism growth, MasterCard is working closely with its merchant and bank partners to increase acceptance across the country. Currently, more than 2,800 restaurants, retail outlets and hotels in Myanmar accept payment cards.[3]*

In 2013, MasterCard collaborated with CB Bank to launch Myanmar’s first travel prepaid card. Since then, MasterCard has worked with other bank partners, telcos and NGOs including Myanmar Apex Bank, Kanbawza Bank Ltd, Ayeyarwady Bank Ltd, Myanmar Citizen Bank, Ooredoo, Mercy Corps, and Khan Academy to support Myanmar in its nascent journey towards economic development. The launch of the CB EasiTravel Prepaid MasterCard Contactless card brings the next evolutionary phase of the electronics payments ecosystem to the people of Myanmar and underscores MasterCard’s commitment to developing the local payment landscape.  

*For a full list of ATMs in Myanmar which accept MasterCard and Maestro/Cirrus-branded cards, please use the ATM Locator tool available on mastercard.com.

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