MasterCard and CB Bank have teamed to produce a prepaid, reloadable travel card for Myanmar.
The CB Bank EASI Travel Prepaid Mastercard will be available to Myanmar residents for international travel, improving upon the country’s banking and financial system reforms.
MasterCard licensed CB Bank in September last year, receiving full systems testing and certification.
“Just as our country is opening up to the world, at the same time, the world is opening up to our countrymen and we’re seeing more and more locals travel abroad,” CB Bank vice chairman and chief executive Kyaw Lynn said.
Myanmar registered 96.0 points on the latest MasterCard Index of Consumer Confidence and almost two-thirds of residents who have travelled abroad, intend to do so again within the next 12 months, according to the MasterCard Consumer Purchasing Priorities survey.
“The allure of operating in such a frontier market is in seeing the vital steps of financial inclusion play out: a vast majority of people in Myanmar remain unbanked and don’t have access to financial services,” MasterCard Southeast Asia president Matthew Driver said.
“Part of our financial inclusion strategy in Myanmar is to educate the local population about the value of electronic payments – we would like to help them understand the benefits of doing away with cash.”
More than 500 restaurants, retail outlets and hotels in Myanmar will be accepting payment cards by the end of the year, following CB Bank’s rollout of Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals in March 2013.