September 06, 2012

MasterCard today announced a step towards increased participation from Myanmar in the global payments network. Myanmar has been opening itself up to the international community over the past year, and now MasterCard Worldwide has become the first global card network to license the issuing of branded cards in the country. The move will mean that MasterCard will start being accepted by merchants and ATM's in the country.

According to a statement released by MasterCard, the company has formed a licensing agreement with Myanmar's Co-Operative Bank Limited, an established bank with the largest ATM network in Myanmar, to issue MasterCard branded credit cards. MasterCard will also be accepted throughout the bank's ATM network.

MasterCard cited research in its statement from the Economist's Intelligence Unit released earlier this year that predicted that Myanmar's economy would grow by more than 5 percent this year thanks to its increased participation in the international economy. MasterCard also noted that international flight arrivals in Myanmar more than doubled from 2009 to 2011.

"Allowing the issuing and acceptance of MasertCard branded cards in the country is a huge step forward for Mayanmar's banking sector," said Vicky Bindra, president, Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa, for MasterCard Worldwide.

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Jonathan Camhi is a graduate of the City University of New York's Graduate School of Journalism, where he focused on international reporting and interned at the Hindustan Times in Delhi, ...