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Three Years On, MasterCard Continues To Expand Financial Inclusion In Myanmar

July 2, 2015 Financial No Comments Email Email

Three years on following the lifting of sanctions in Myanmar and the country’s subsequent opening up, MasterCard is continuing its efforts to develop the local payments infrastructure and provide the people of Myanmar with more safe and easy ways to pay while on their travels. It has just launched yet another prepaid card in the market, this time with Myanma Apex Bank Limited (MAB Bank).


This is timely given that the latest MasterCard survey on Consumer Purchasing Priorities – Travel indicates that 3 out of 5 Myanmar consumers surveyed intend to travel within the next 12 months (either as much or more than they did in the past 12 months).

The MAB Travel Prepaid MasterCard provides a secure and convenient way for consumers to make payment when travelling overseas, be it for leisure, business or education, or when shopping online on e-commerce sites.

“The MAB Travel Prepaid MasterCard marks another milestone in MAB’s journey to bring cutting-edge payment products and solutions to our existing and potential customers. We know that leisure travel and shopping are on the rise among Myanmar Citizens and we hope this product will help to meet their needs,” said Mr. Win Min Khine, Managing Director, Myanma Apex Bank.

Mr. Antonio Corro, country manager, Thailand & Myanmar, MasterCard, said: “Myanmar’s gradual opening up presents many opportunities for entrepreneurship and commerce to flourish, and their progressive participation in the global payments system that MasterCard enables not only aids the development of the local payments landscape and the businesses that are a part of it, but also facilitates global connections. As Myanmar continues the vital reform of its banking and financial system, MasterCard will also continue to support the country in any way that it can.”

Since 2012, MasterCard has continued to advance financial inclusion, allowing more people who were previously unbanked to gain access to formal financial services. Besides the MAB Travel Prepaid MasterCard, the company has launched prepaid cards together with Co-operative Bank Ltd, Kanbawza Bank Ltd, Ayeyarwady Bank Ltd, and Myanmar Citizen Bank with 2C2P, the last of which was also Myanmar’s first smartphone-enabled Prepaid Card.

But beyond products, MasterCard has also made significant efforts to advance financial literacy by introducing financial educational programs in Myanmar. A recent partnership with Ooredoo was aimed at making economic and finance materials more accessible to the Myanmar population, which would help democratize education as well. Pledging $10,000, MasterCard had helped expedite the translation of Khan Academy’s economic and finance videos into the Myanmar language so more people could benefit from it.

In 2013, MasterCard and global humanitarian and development organization, Mercy Corps, worked together to train women entrepreneurs in rural Myanmar. Through their partnership, a business literacy program called Business and Financial Literacy for Success was implemented, benefitting women entrepreneurs, allowing them to be educated on basic business skills and money management practices.

At present, more than 2,000 restaurants, retail outlets and hotels in Myanmar accept payment cards*.

*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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