Mastercard to keep high growth rate in Myanmar

Ravinder Aurora, executive director for global public policy and community relations at Mastercard, said at a press conference yesterday that the company enjoyed double digit growth in terms of the number of card users and transaction value by using the cards every year.

“Currently, I believe there are roughly about 2 million cards within the country. That is growing in double digit.

There are over 7,000 POS (point of sales) terminals that are also growing in double digit as more machines are accepting [the cards],” he said.

According to Aurora, going from cash to digital payments usually takes time, as nearly 99 per cent of small businesses prefer to use cash only.

“Most of the big restaurants, hotels and stores in Myanmar are now accepting the cards. Small businesses don’t, because everything is paid in cash. So, it cannot be done over night,” he said.

Aurora urged to raise awareness and educate consumers and merchants. He stressed the importance of building consumer trust on digital payments.

He is optimistic about the future of the company as well as digital payments in Myanmar, thanks to the government’s recent establishment of the Central Digital Payments Committee, led by a vice president.

“They are looking at financial inclusion. There is also a commitment by the government to go cashless. So, we see a brighter future in Myanmar,” he said.

Aurora said digital payments could bring positive impacts on the nation’s gross domestic product, as it can help reduce corruption, improve efficiency and reduce the cost of printing money for the government.

He said Myanmar was part of the company’s global strategy which aimed to include 500 million new consumers into the payment ecosystem and to attract 40 million micro and small merchants to accept its cards by 2020. He pledged not only to do well but also to do good in Myanmar.

Donald Ong, Mastercard’s country manager for Thailand and Myanmar, said the firm is growing fast in Myanmar.

New market

“Myanmar is a brand new market for electronic payments. In a short time, you now have over 7,000 POS terminals.

More importantly, the business is growing almost double every year,” he said.

He said the company tried to ensure that it provided fast, secure and innovative products in Myanmar, as it did in other international markets.

“You can use the card, wherever you are in the world. Our card holders in Myanmar now have access to over 40 million locations in 210 countries around the world,” he said.

“A lot of our digital strengths lie in the area of safety and security, which is very important for electronic payments. We are moving ahead on that, thanks to our innovation and biometric card.”

Source: The Nation