Mastercard holders visiting Myanmar can use their debit and credit cards to withdraw cash from Co-operative Bank automatic teller machines in the country following the launch of services on Thursday, November 15.
The first withdrawal was made from an ATM at CB bank’s headquarters at the corner of 23rd Street and Strand Road in Yangon.
Myanmar’s first ATM allowed since the banking crisis in 2003 was installed at the same location in November 2011.
Initially services will be limited to debit cards. The bank will later offer credit cards based on customer feedback, if the Central Bank permits, he said.
In September MasterCard Worldwide became the first international payments networks to issue a licence to a Myanmar bank, paving the way for branded cards to be issued and accepted in Myanmar.
Mr Antonio Sebastian Corró, MasterCard country manager and chief representative for Indochina, said tourists and business travellers with a MasterCard-, Maestro- or Cirrus-branded card could use them to withdraw kyat from 36 Co-operative Bank ATMs nationally, including two at Yangon International Airport.
“Today is an historic event for Myanmar and CB bank,” he said.
“Today is a first for CB bank … [whose] ATMs can accept MasterCard-, Maestro- and Cirrus-branded cards. This is very important for Myanmar … [and] will boost the tourism sector because they [tourists] don’t have to bring their cash.
“They can go to any of CB bank’s 36 ATMs and be able to withdraw local currency,” Mr Corro told The Myanmar Times at a press conference at CB bank’s headquarters.
“According to my understanding, the CB bank management will install more ATMs before the end of this year. Obviously they will be placed in the location where most tourists go, such as Mandalay and Bagan. As of today, all the CB bank’s ATMS are accepting MasterCard withdrawals,” he added.
Mr Corró said CB bank is one of the most established commercial banks in Myanmar, with the largest ATM network, which is why MasterCard had chosen to work with the company.
“We also working with other banks but CB bank is the first to be licensed by any international brand. … I’m quite confident with them and I definitely believed in our partnership with them… and they have been working very hard in the past few months to make sure this happened,” he said.