MasterCard has 1st electronic swipe in Myanmar
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.