Western Union has signed a deal to conduct person-to-person money transfers through Burma’s Co-operative Bank (CB Bank).
“Western Union has just signed an agreement with CB Bank for money transfers to begin on December 14,” Phey Myint, CB Bank’s Managing Director told Mizzima.
Using Western Union’s bureau in Singapore as a conduit for all international transfers, money can now be transferred from Burma to foreign countries, and vice versa from international countries to Burma, he said.
In September, Western Union signed a contract with Myanmar Oriental Bank to allow remittances through its Burmese branches, but only payments coming into Burma were agreed at that time.
US-based Western Union evolved into a conduit for transferring cash internationally from its roots as the largest telegram company in the USA in the 1800s. It now conducts financial transactions, including person-to-person payments and money orders, with almost every country in the world—North Korea, Somalia and Sudan being notable exceptions.
Burmese living in exile or working abroad have traditionally used Burmese agents, known as the Hundi service, for money transfers home.
Both Myanmar Oriental Bank and CB Bank have also signed deals with US credit card firms VISA and MasterCard to allow cardholders to make transactions through their respective banks.