By the end of June, six private banks will start a debit card one-month trial service, according to officials at Kanbawza Bank.
The service will be limited to selected individuals, General Manager Zaw Lin Htut of Kanbawza Bank told Eleven Media group.
The debit card will be issued by MPU (Myanmar Payment Union Card). Officials said that sometime in the future the card could be used as a credit card and smart card.
By 2013, Burmese citizens should be able to travel anywhere in the world using domestic debit and banking cards, banking officials said.
In May, banking officials said more private banks in Burma are in the process of installing automated teller machines (ATM), a sign of the fast-evolving changes in the financial and banking system.
The central bank announced plans to launch a new nationwide ATM network by July and said it was in talks with Visa International's Plus and MasterCard International's Cirrus to introduce international banking within six months to a year, said banking industry sources.
In November 2011, six private banks – Co-operative Bank (CB), Kanbawza, Asia Green Development (AGD), Myawaddy, Myanmar Citizens and Ayeyarwady – were given permission by the Central Bank of Myanmar to begin operating ATMs in Rangoon, a Central Bank official said.
ATMs existed in Burma until the banking crisis in 2003, when a number of banks collapsed.
San Thein, the general manager of Myanmar Oriental Bank, said during a financial workshop in Rangoon on November 7, “ATMs are the start of a modern international banking system,” according to an article in the Myanmar Times.
Kanbawza Bank vice president Than Lwin said Burma was 50 years behind international banking industry standards, but private banks are now preparing to offer services that are seen elsewhere as essential.