Myanmar’s Kanbawza Bank to accept MasterCard payments at ATMs

220px-MasterCard_Logo.svgKanbawza Bank, Ltd., one of Myanmar’s largest banks, recently announced it would accept MasterCard payments at ATMs across the country.

The bank has the largest branch network in Myanmar, operating 55 ATMs across the country in places like airports, restaurants, supermarkets, hotels and shopping centers. KBZ’s acceptance brings the total number of ATMs that accept MasterCard and Maestro/Cirrus cards to 140.

Antonio Corro, MasterCard’s Thailand and Myanmar country manager, said increasing ATM acceptance would not only increase convenience for customers but would also boost financial inclusion in a nation where most people rely on cash transactions.

“Our intention in Myanmar since becoming operational has been to steadily build up its payments infrastructure, its capability, and facilitate financial inclusion,” Corro said. “That means expanding the number of points where safe and easy transactions can be made, and supporting businesses that are part of this growing economy.”

Last September, MasterCard became the first global payments network to issue a license to a Burmese bank. In November, MasterCard and Cooperative Bank, Ltd., partnered to launch the first ATM transaction.

The U.S. Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control eased sanctions against the country last July, and the country has since seen substantial economic growth.

Myanmar is primarily a cash-driven economy, but many of the country’s policymakers and legislators have put forward proposals to increase financial inclusion, reduce cash use and ramp up e-commerce and mobile payments.

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