The Asian Banker

Kanbawza Bank and Visa expand electronic payments acceptance in Myanmar
Apr 04, 2013

April 1st 2013 - Kanbawza Bank (KBZ) and Visa hosted a briefing today with tourism officials and special VIP guests to announce that they will expand point-of-sale (POS) acceptance for Visa payment cards across the country at local hotels, restaurants and retail stores. The announcement by the partners marks a new milestone in the continued development of the electronic payments system in Myanmar and the strengthening of the country’s tourism sector.

Myanmar is increasingly a popular travel destination in Southeast Asia and the rapid growth of its tourism sector is a key contributor to economic growth. According to the Myanmar Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, tourist arrivals reached more than 1,000,000 in 2012. This number is expected to grow significantly this year ahead of international events such as the World Economic Forum for East Asia and the country’s 2014 Chairmanship of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).
The briefing was held at The Strand Hotel, one of Yangon’s premier accommodations and one of the first major hotels in Myanmar that will soon begin accepting Visa payment cards. The partnership will enable greater acceptance of electronic payments for the tourism sector, allowing travelers to pay with their Visa cards at various merchant locations throughout Myanmar.

For KBZ bank, the partnership with Visa is an integral part of the bank’s long-term customer service and merchant support strategy. Local clients of KBZ will now have the opportunity to participate in the global electronic payments system and gain access to a pool of 2.0 billion Visa cardholders worldwide. By working with Visa, KBZ will leverage Visa’s global security and operational standards, enabling a safe and open payment experience for cardholders. The new KBZ POS terminals will be enabled with EMV technology which offers the industry’s highest standard of payment security.

Senior Managing Director U Than Cho of Kanbawza Bank said: “We are proud to partner with Visa to provide tourists and merchants with a better and safer way to pay and be paid through electronic payments. Kanbawza Bank has a long history of dedication to our customers and to developing the Myanmar economy. As our country continues to grow and become further integrated into the international finance community, we are proud to be at the forefront of banking innovation for Myanmar and are confident that development of payment systems will contribute to future economic growth.”

For Visa, the partnership with KBZ Bank is the latest development in helping the company fast-track into the global financial mainstream while supporting economic growth and providing greater opportunities for local merchants to tap into expanding business opportunities. Visa is working with local banks to enable more than 1,000 retail locations to support Myanmar’s hosting of the upcoming ASEAN games.

Peter Maher, Visa Group Country Manager, Southeast Asia and Australasia, said: “Inbound tourism to Myanmar will continue to play a major role in the development of Myanmar’s economy and together with Kanbawza Bank we will strengthen this vital growth engine. We are proud to celebrate this important partnership and milestone to bring the benefits of electronic payments and acceptance to Myanmar’s economy.”

Visa recently announced its partnership with Planet Payment to bring its international payment technology to the country, connecting Myanmar bank’s ATMs to VisaNet, and to manage cross border ATM and POS processing. Visa cardholders can use their cards to withdraw cash at more than 130 ATMs in the country.


Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

Categories: Retail Banking, Technology & Operations
Keywords: KBZ, Visa

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