KBZ Launches Visa Credit Cards After Landmark Ruling by Central Bank


Kanbawza Bank (KBZ) has begun issuing Visa credit cards, making it the sec­ond of Visa’s Myanmar partners to do so after the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) lifted restrictions last month.

CB Bank was the first of the local banks to is­sue Visa credit cards in January, a week after the move by the Central Bank of Myanmar to liberalize domestic electronic pay­ments.

“Today, we introduce credit cards to our cus­tomers to promote a cul­ture of card usage in My­anmar,” said Daw Shwe Zin Win, general man­ager of KBZ’s card depart­ment, at a lunch event late last month.

While Visa recently an­nounced double digit growth in key areas of its Myanmar business for 2016, cash is still used for 99.95% of all transactions inside the country.

But the recent move by the CBM is likely to prove a boon for overseas elec­tronic payment compa­nies in Myanmar who have been struggling to tackle the country’s long standing ‘culture of cash’.

“The cardholder will have full access to the online banking services of KBZ. The service will greatly impact the nation by transforming it from a cash-based to a cashless society,” said U Zaw Lin Aung, managing director of KBZ.

KBZ and Visa are offer­ing two types of cards: classic and platinum.

The cards contain chip technology which enables cardholders to tap their card on a contactless POS (Point of Sale) terminal to conduct a transaction. A tiny antenna embedded in the card’s chip transmits payment instructions to and from a specially adapted card terminal, KBZ said.

Eligibility for classic cards is restricted to ap­plicants with a monthly income of no less than K300,000, while the threshold is set higher for platinum card applicants at K2 million.

The cards come with a credit limit of K5 million to be repaid within 45 days. After the 45 day pe­riod, a 13 percent monthly interest rate will be ap­plied to any outstanding credit.

Visa cards can be used at 40 million points of sale around the world, but only 7,000 of those are in Myanmar.


Source: Myanmar Business Today

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