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Banks in Myanmar will adopt UnionPay Chip Card standard

The Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) and UnionPay International (UPI) have collaborated to implement a common UnionPay chip card standard in the country. The UnionPay chip card standard complies with the global EMV chip card standard, and will be adopted by all banks operating in Myanmar.

The UnionPay chip card standard emerged as the standard of choice after stringent reviews and extensive consultations with Central Bank of Myanmar, MPU and major financial institutions. Following this process, the current local chip card standard will be upgraded to the new UnionPay chip card standard which offers enhanced security. In addition, Myanmar Cardholders can use the locally-issued cards featuring the new UnionPay chip card standard anywhere in the world, at locations that accept the EMV chip card standard.

This announcement follows the implementation of the UnionPay chip card standard in Thailand and Laos in recent years. In Thailand, all new locally-issued debit cards will need to carry the Thai Bank Chip Card Standard starting August 2017, a chip card standard licensed by UPI and run by Thai Banker Association. In Laos, UnionPay plays a pivotal role in providing support for the construction, operation and maintenance of the local payment systems.

In 2016, UPI also signed a chip card standard licensing cooperation agreement with seven other member institutions of Asian Payment Network. With this collaboration, the major switch networks in Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will adopt UnionPay chip card standard in card acceptance and card issuance.
Acting Chairman of MPU, U Zaw Win, said, “The UnionPay chip card standard brings the Myanmar Payments industry to the world stage as it complies with international EMV standard and security. The tripartite collaboration on the chip standard lays a strong foundation for innovation, value-added services, and increase convenience for Myanmar consumers and businesses.”

standard meets the international standard for safety and security. This collaboration with UnionPay represents an important milestone in the continued development of Myanmar’s payment infrastructure, and serves to elevate the local payments industry.”

Cai Jianbo, CEO of UnionPay International, said, “Myanmar is a crucial market for UnionPay in Southeast Asia, and we are delighted to have made several breakthroughs in this market. Firstly, all local ATMs and over 90 percent of merchants in Myanmar now accept UnionPay cards, bringing our local acceptance to a very strong level. Secondly, UnionPay International has partnered many mainstream banks to issue UnionPay-MPU co-branded cards that can be used outside of Myanmar, and this has catapulted UnionPay to become the international card brand with the largest market share in Myanmar. Thirdly, we have been actively participating in the development of the payments industry infrastructure in Myanmar to support the growth of the payments industry. Moving forward, we will continue to support future collaborations with Myanmar as we accelerate the expansion of our business here in Southeast Asia.”

In Myanmar, UnionPay cards are being issued locally by Asian Green Development Bank (AGD), Ayeyarwady Bank (AYA), Co-operative Bank (CB), Kanbawza Bank (KBZ) and The Myanmar Oriental Bank Ltd (MOB). UnionPay Cards are currently accepted at close to 90 percent of retail, food and beverages, tourist attractions and lifestyle establishments locally, as well as at all ATMs in the country.

Source: Enterpriseinnovation

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