At last, Burmese not only have debit cards, but they also have a national switch that facilitates their use at any one of the ATMs of 17 Burmese banks. Cards had been available previously, but could only be used at ATMs of the cardholder's bank.
The new cards can also be used to make debit purchases. However in the country's largest city, Yangon, only 14 locations are set up to accept them so far, according to a Reuters report. These include shopping malls, airline offices, computer shops, one hotel and two restaurants.
The introduction of the network is a substantial step forward for Myanmar, which did not have ATM service for eight years, following international sanctions levied against the government, which was formed by a military coup.
The installation of a more moderate, quasi-civilian government has led to the loosening of sanctions, enabling the country to begin modernizing its financial system, Reuters said.
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