Launches Two More Prepaid Cards in Market; Plans to Launch First Smartphone-enabled Prepaid Card; Licenses 10th Bank Partner and Increases ATM Acceptance
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Singapore – 18 December 2014 – About a year since launching the country’s first prepaid card, MasterCard is pushing forward with its efforts to bring financial inclusion to the people. Partnering with Kanbawza Bank Ltd (KBZ Bank), MasterCard has launched its second prepaid card in the market with the KBZ EXPLORE Prepaid Card; and its third prepaid card, My AYA MasterCard Prepaid Card (MY Card) with Ayeyarwady Bank Ltd (AYA Bank).
A reloadable card with EMV chip, the KBZ EXPLORE Prepaid Card provides a secure and convenient way to make payments when traveling overseas. Accepted worldwide, wherever MasterCard is accepted, the card can be used at online merchants as well. Consumers can easily check card transactions and their balance by logging into their online KBZ account.
“The KBZ EXPLORE Prepaid Card provides consumers with an alternative payment mode and also facilitates cashless payments. Since the launch of the KBZ EXPLORE Prepaid card, we have seen good response and are confident that the number will grow by more than double by 2015,” said Mr. Aung Kyaw Myo, Managing Director, Consumer Banking, Kanbawza Bank Ltd.
Meanwhile, AYA Bank is looking to target the fast growing, young and savvy workforce and student population, who enjoy traveling and shopping online. The MY Card is also a reloadable card with EMV chip for added security. It can be loaded with US dollars not just for use on overseas travel, but is also a safe and convenient payment option for shopping at international online shopping sites.
Mr. Antonio Corro, country manager, Thailand & Myanmar, MasterCard, said: “We are happy to be able to launch additional prepaid products in the market as part of our efforts to bring financial services to more citizens of Myanmar. However, we acknowledge that it doesn’t stop there. Building consumer trust in electronic payments is crucial. In line with our financial inclusion strategy in Myanmar, we continue to provide support in educating local citizens on the benefits of electronic payments and increasing access and acceptance to financial services and infrastructure.”
Most recently, MasterCard partnered with Ooredoo to make more world class financial educational materials accessible to the Myanmar population. MasterCard had pledged $10,000 to help expedite translation of Khan Academy’s economic and finance videos into the Myanmar language.
There are also plans to launch Myanmar’s first Smartphone-enabled Prepaid Card with Myanmar Citizen Bank and 2C2P. The Citizen Card is a reloadable Prepaid MasterCard targeting not just those travelling abroad and online shoppers, but also travel and tour companies for their B2B payments. A key highlight of the Citizen Card is that it allows consumers to monitor their transactions in real-time and receive online support, using an app that will be available on the iOS and Android platforms. With the Citizen Card, consumers can also enjoy special benefits and privileges at some of Myanmar’s attractive overseas destinations such as Thailand and Singapore.
Since entering the market in 2012, MasterCard has strived to assist Myanmar in its nascent journey towards financial inclusion. In October 2013, MasterCard and Co-operative Bank Ltd (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 fifty new card applications on average are received every day and the average ticket size for usage is US$195, according to Mr. Kyaw Lynn, Executive Vice Chairman and CEO of CB Bank.
The CB Bank EASI Travel Prepaid MasterCard was recently recognized at the MasterCard Innovation Awards 2014 when it picked up the Best Financial Inclusion Program Award. The award acknowledges outstanding achievements in developing and executing programs that drive financial inclusion through a product which extends services to the un-banked and the under-banked.
In August 2014, MasterCard had also issued its 10th MasterCard License to YOMA Bank Limited. As of 20 November 2014, MasterCard has ten partners in Myanmar (nine Financial Institutions & one Finance Company): Co-Operative Bank Ltd; Kanbawza Bank Ltd; United Amara Bank Ltd; Myanma Apex Bank Ltd; Myanmar Citizens Bank Ltd; Myanmar Oriental Bank Ltd; Ayeyarwady Bank Ltd; Asia Green Development Bank Ltd; Yoma Bank Limited; and Ryuji Finance Company Ltd.
The number of ATMs in Myanmar which accept MasterCard has been growing at an astounding rate, from over 140 ATMs in 2013 to over 829 ATMs/ as of the third quarter of 2014 alone, marking a near six-fold increase. The number of point-of-sale (POS) acceptance terminals grew from 72 to over 1,189 in the same period, which signify a growing movement towards cashless payments. At present, more than 1,114 restaurants, retail outlets and hotels in Myanmar accept payment cards. This number is expected to grow even faster with United Amara Bank (UAB Bank) now also accepting international MasterCard cards for ATM withdrawals. UAB Bank is the sixth bank to accept MasterCard for ATM withdrawals in Myanmar.
/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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MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a technology company in the global payments industry. We operate the world’s fastest payments processing network, connecting consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. MasterCard’s products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MasterCardAP and @MasterCardNews, join the discussion on the Cashless Pioneers Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.
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