Card launch comes as Myanmar’s payments landscape continues to progress towards cashless payments at a healthy pace


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To tweet this news, copy and paste: Avid #Myanmar travelers can now pay w/ #Mastercard & @CBBankMyanmar credit card amid robust outbound #travel outlook http://news.mstr.cd/2gipY1z

Singapore – 5 December 2016 – As Myanmar continues to see positive economic growth projections[1], its people are increasingly seeking overseas destinations. The latest Mastercard research revealed that Myanmar is the fastest growing outbound travel market in Asia Pacific with a growth projection of 10.6% for the next five years.

In light of this, Mastercard has once again partnered Co-operative Bank Ltd (CB Bank) to launch Classic, Gold and Platinum Mastercard cards, which will be made available to Myanmar residents and citizens when traveling abroad.

Mr. Kyaw Lynn, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of CB Bank said: “As more Myanmar residents and citizens travel abroad, it is crucial to have convenient and secure access to their funds wherever they are. A cashless society is an important goal for CB Bank. Although still a work in progress, we are working hard with like-minded partners such as Mastercard to achieve that goal by expanding the payment options, increasing usage of ATMs, POS terminals and enhancing e-commerce capabilities. For starters, we are already seeing a great shift from cash to electronic payments. And on average, there are 9,000 transactions being made monthly via electronic payment at the point-of-sale.”

Mr. Antonio Corro, country manager, Thailand and Myanmar, Mastercard, said: “For a country that had only opened its doors not too long ago, Myanmar’s economic and outbound travel projections are very encouraging. To meet the increasing demands for travel, we have deepened our partnership with CB Bank to launch our first credit card in the country. This signifies a big step towards the greater development of the electronic payments infrastructure and it also means that consumers are able to make more secure and convenient payments for their purchases when travelling abroad.”

Supporting Myanmar in Its Journey to Greater Inclusion

Since entering the market in 2012, Mastercard has strived to assist Myanmar in its nascent journey towards financial inclusion. In October 2013, Mastercard and CB Bank had launched Myanmar’s first ever payment product, a prepaid travel card for locals called the CB Bank EASI Travel Prepaid Mastercard card, which has seen a healthy take-up rate. Approximately seventy new card applications on average are received every day, according to Mr. Kyaw Lynn. The latest of their efforts include the launch of Mastercard’s first contactless card in Myanmar.

With less than 10% of the population holding bank accounts, there is still so much that needs to be done to bring more citizens into the financial system and it is widely acknowledged that the journey to financial inclusion in Myanmar will not be a smooth one.

In a report by The Fletcher School, Tufts University – conducted with the support of Mastercard and the Myanmar Development Resource Institute’s Center for Economic and Social Development (MDRI-CESD) – one of six key findings point to trust playing a key role in increasing adoption of financial services.

This means there a stronger impetus and opportunity for Mastercard to assist in rebuilding the financial sector and bringing greater financial access to the population.

“Building consumer trust in electronic payments is crucial. In line with our financial inclusion strategy in Myanmar, we will continue to provide support in educating locals on the benefits of electronic payments and increasing access and acceptance to financial services and infrastructure,” Mr. Corro added.

The number of ATMs in Myanmar which accept Mastercard has been growing at an astounding rate, from over 140 ATMs in 2013 to almost 1,800 ATMs in just three years, marking a near 13-fold increase. The number of point-of-sale (POS) acceptance terminals grew from 72 to over 3,800 in the same period, which signify a strong adoption of cashless payments. At present, more than 3,200 restaurants, retail outlets and hotels in Myanmar accept payment cards.

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About Mastercard

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Communications Contact

Venture Liang, Mastercard, +65 6390 5973
venture.liang@mastercard.com

Yong Shi Yun, Weber Shandwick, +65 6825 8084
syong@webershandwick.com

[1] World Bank, 31 May 2016, http://www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2016/05/31/myanmar-growth-eases-slightly-but-remains-robust-in-2015-2016