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MasterCard has 1st electronic swipe in Myanmar

Published on Sep 6, 2012 6:47 AM
 
MasterCard on Thursday said it had signed a deal with a Myanmar bank that it hopes will pave the way for electronic payments, in an impoverished country where most transactions are made in cash. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

BANGKOK (AFP) - MasterCard on Thursday said it had signed a deal with a Myanmar bank that it hopes will pave the way for electronic payments, in an impoverished country where most transactions are made in cash.

A licence deal with Myanmar's Co-Operative Bank lays the groundwork for its cards to be issued and accepted in the country, the company said, a move that follows the easing of United States (US) financial restrictions to reward reforms.

The inability to pay for goods or withdraw cash with credit cards is a symptom of years of tough international sanctions against the former military dictatorship, which gave way to a quasi-civilian regime in 2011.

People are currently obliged to carry all their money in wads of cash - a particular challenge for tourists and foreign businesses - with even upmarket hotels only sporadically able to offer credit-card payments.

 
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