Just two years ago tourist guidebooks warned travellers they wouldn’t find an ATM in Myanmar.
Now, as the country races to develop a modern retail industry and banking system, the nation has leapfrogged some neighbouring countries with the launch of a prepaid credit card which works globally through the MasterCard network.
2C2P, a Southeast Asian payment services provider has teamed with the Myanmar Citizens Bank, Myanmar’s leading private bank, to launch what has been branded the Citizen Card. It’s a reloadable, prepaid card which comes with an optional smartphone application allowing cardholders to manage transactions with real-time monitoring and online support on both iOS and Android platforms.
Aung Kyaw Moe, group CEO at 2C2P said the card is targeted at the retail, travel and tourism sectors and will also facilitate online shopping.
“It will also be of use to Myanmar tourists when they travel overseas, as consumers can enjoy special benefits and privileges at destinations such as Thailand and Singapore, with a number of partner merchants in the airline, food and beverage and hospitality sectors.”
U Myint Win, MD of Myanmar Citizens Bank said Myanmar is on course to boom over the coming years.
“Within the last two years, the country has seen its first ATM, the first debit card and the first internationally accepted card. Building on this momentum, we are pleased to partner with 2C2P and launch MCB’s very first prepaid card, which will help support the imminent growth in Myanmar e-commerce.”
Supply of the Citizen’s Card will be limited to 5000 units and can be obtained at any MCB branch in Myanmar. It is also available via the MCB website by filling out a form online.
According to McKinsey & Co, Myanmar’s economy is set to quadruple the size from US$45 billion to over US$200 billion by 2030, with per capita GDP rising from US$1300 in 2010 to $5100 by 2030.
“Myanmar is slowly moving to embrace cash-alternative solutions. The country is in need of various kinds of payment processing services. I believe 2C2P will find good opportunities here,” said Aung.
This year, 2C2P introduced iAccept in Myanmar, a mobile point-of-sales system which works with Visa, MasterCard, Myanmar Citizens Bank and Myanmar Hotels International. In July, the Singapore-based company partnered with Creative Web Studios, a Yangon-based ecommerce solutions provider, to drive financial inclusion and develop Myanmar’s contactless payment infrastructure.
2C2P has offices in Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Hong Kong.