Historic First Paves the Way for Myanmar to Participate in Global Electronic Payments with Issuing, Merchant Acceptance and ATM Acceptance of MasterCard Branded Payment Cards

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Singapore, 6 September 2012MasterCard Worldwide is the first international payments network to issue a license to a Myanmar bank, paving the way for branded cards to be issued and accepted in the country for the first time, following a historic agreement signed this month.

The license agreement with Myanmar’s Co-Operative Bank Limited, one of the most established commercial banks in Myanmar with the largest ATM network in the country, will see the issuing of MasterCard branded cards and the acceptance of MasterCard/ Maestro/ Cirrus cards by ATMs within the country.

The agreement also enables merchants in Myanmar to accept MasterCard payment cards, giving them access to commerce and the ability to participate in the open, global payments system that MasterCard enables. Merchants will also benefit from being part of a network of thousands of issuing and acquiring financial institutions and their suppliers and partners.

Research by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU)[1] earlier this year forecasted that Myanmar’s economy would expand by 5.2 percent in 2012-13. International air arrivals[2] alone jumped by 63% between 2009 and 2010, and a further 32% between 2010 and 2011, more than doubling from 100,439 in 2009 to 216,861 in 2011.

Vicky Bindra, President, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, MasterCard Worldwide, said the deal with Co-Operative Bank Limited was a significant milestone for MasterCard Worldwide that would benefit businesses including the tourism sector.

“Allowing the issuing and acceptance of MasterCard branded cards in the country is a huge step forward for Myanmar’s banking sector, its merchants and for the country as a whole; this collaboration will bring more of Myanmar’s citizens into the financial system and will have a huge impact on tourism and travel,” Mr Bindra said.

“Electronic payments will also be crucial in helping Myanmar connect to the global economy, facilitating business activity, and creating a better life for its citizens through financial inclusion.”

“To be the first international payments network to issue a license in Myanmar is a momentous step for MasterCard and a testament to our commitment to providing safe and secure payment solutions to all parts of the Asia/Pacific region,” Mr Bindra added.


About MasterCard Worldwide

MasterCard (NYSE: MA), www.mastercard.com, is a global payments and technology company. It operates 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 @MasterCardNews,  join the conversation on Cashless Conversations Blog and subscribe for the latest news.



Georgette Tan, MasterCard Worldwide, georgette_tan@mastercard.com, +65 6390 5971

Robert O’Brien, Weber Shandwick, robrien@webershandwick.com, +65 6825 8064

[1] EIU report ‘Myanmar: White Elephant or New Tiger Economy?’

[2] Data from Myanmar Statistical Organisation