MasterCard and Visa Launch Prepaid Cards in Myanmar and Ghana (Oct. 8, 2013)
MasterCard and Visa separately have launched prepaid cards this week in Myanmar and Ghana, respectively. CB Bank is rolling out a prepaid travel card for citizens of the Southeast Asian country called the CB Bank EASI Travel Prepaid MasterCard card. The financial institution says the reloadable prepaid card is the first of its kind in Myanmar.
“Just as our country is opening up to the world . . . the world is opening up to our countrymen and we’re seeing more and more locals travel abroad,” said Kyaw Lynn, CB Bank executive vice chairman and CEO. A little over a year ago, the U.S. lifted many trade restrictions against Myanmar, also known as Burma, following elections in the spring of 2012.
“Part of the allure of operating in such a frontier market is in seeing the vital steps of financial inclusion play out: a vast majority of people in Myanmar remain unbanked and don’t have access to financial services,” said Matthew Driver, president, Southeast Asia, MasterCard.
Nearly 6,500 miles west in the African country of Ghana, Access Bank Ghana has added the Visa Prepaid card to its suite of card products in an effort to strengthen its retail banking operations, according to reports.
The product is designed for short-stay travelers, such as Hajj pilgrims traveling to Mecca, business professionals and students. Bank and nonbank customers can load Ghana currency, the cedi, onto the card and use it at ATMs and retailers, including online merchants, that accept Visa.