In September 2012, MasterCard was the first international payments network to issue a license to a Myanmar bank – Co-operative Bank Ltd (CB Bank) – an initiative that paved the way for international payment cards to be accepted in the country for the first time. ATM acceptance followed in November and now just over a year since entering the market, we are proud to announce, in collaboration with CB Bank, the country’s first-ever travel prepaid card. The reloadable prepaid MasterCard will be made available to Myanmar residents for when they travel outside of the country.
According to MasterCard research, nearly two-thirds of people in Myanmar who have traveled abroad intend to do so again within the next 12 months, making the introduction of a prepaid travel card timely for the market.
Understandably enough, cash is the overwhelmingly dominant mode of payment for international travel at present. This is a country where less than 10% of its people currently have a bank account and local-use debit cards (for ATM withdrawal and payments in a small number of shops, restaurants and offices) were only introduced into the market in September 2012.
With the launch of the first travel prepaid card in Myanmar, the growing number of travelers from this frontier market now have a safer, more secure and convenient alternative to carrying wads of cash when travelling abroad for either business or leisure.
If you come from Myanmar, we would love to hear your thoughts on the launch CB Bank’s travel prepaid card and what it means for you.