Since repowering its ATMs, which were shut down from 2003-2011, Myanmar is continuing its efforts to bring its network up to 21st century standards. The latest introduction is the Myanmar Payment Union debit card, which will roll out nationwide in September.
According to an article by Mizzima, the MPU card will give account holders access to the ATMs of a 16-member bank coalition that comprises all but three of the nation's 19 privately owned banks. Eventually all 19 banks will offer access to MPU card customers. Cardholders will also be able to use the cards to make purchases at some stores.
Private banks have begun to install new ATMs, Mizzima reported, which represents a major innovation for a cash-based population. Economic sanctions and ruinous government policymaking have pushed much of the money movement underground. A system of black market agents called "hawala" arrange international money transfers.
The Myanmar government hopes to have a fully internationalized banking system in place in 2013, perhaps in as little as 6 months. To this end the government has been in talks with Visa and MasterCard International Cirrus network, the article said.
For more on this topic, visit the networking/connectivity research center.