Myanmar is continuing its steady move toward a modern banking system. This week, it was announced that nearly 90 ATMs operated by Myanmarese FIs Co-operative Bank and Kanbawza Bank will now accept Visa cards.

According to an article by Nation, the move is significant in that it connects Myanmar to the worldwide banking system. This has been enabled by democratic reforms in the country that have led to an easing of global sanctions against the previous military government.

Now the country is rushing to update its decrepit banking system in advance of two major international events scheduled for 2013 in Myanmar — the World Economic Forum on East Asia and the Southeast Asian Games. From 2003 through late 2011, the country had no ATM service at all.

Visa has worked through Planet Payment to establish VisaNet connections within the local banking community. Planet Payment will also provide cross-border ATM and credit processing services for Visa.

"[Connection to VisaNet] is an important step for Myanmar's electronic payment infrastructure," said Peter Maher, Visa group country manager for Southeast Asia and Australasia. "As the country's financial system continues to develop, ATMs are a way to grow the reach of financial services, and support the economic and tourism growth of the country."

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