Burma’s Banks Prepare Phone Apps for Easy Money Transfers

People walk past ATMs at a shopping center in Rangoon in May 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

People walk past ATMs at a shopping center in Rangoon in May 2012. (Photo: Reuters)

Just more than a year after Burma installed its first ATM, local banks are preparing a new system that would allow people to transfer money through mobile phone applications.

Leading local banks are expected to launch the new mobile phone services early this year, a banking official said on Thursday.

The services are intended to ease money flow as businesses rush into the long-isolated country, which is opening up after decades of military rule.

Pe Myint, managing director of the Co-operative Bank, a leading private bank in the country, said on Thursday that he met with state-owned Myanmar Post and Telecommunications (MPT), the country’s only telecommunications operator, to discuss possible plans.

“When we start this service in Burma, all local leading banks that operate ATMs will do the same,” Pe Myint said.

He said the new system would allow people to transfer money with a mobile phone application, with account holders receiving a secure code number to withdraw and deposit funds in an ATM.

“Right now we’re just discussing how to provide this service in Burma, and we’re hoping to start rolling it out as early as April,” he said of the Co-operative Bank, which operates about 50 ATMs in main cities around the country. “If we run up against technical problems or operating problems, maybe we won’t start until June or July this year.”

“I don’t know when other banks will start, but all of them are trying to introduce this service as quickly as possible because of the market share,” he added.

He said that because the country still lacked an extensive ATM network and many account holders in rural regions did not have access to mobile phone networks, the Co-operative Bank would continue to keep representatives at local banking locations for money transfers.

Burma’s first ATM was installed in November 2011.

In 2012, ATMs in major cities began accepting transactions from international credit giants Visa and MasterCard, though there are still some technical problems with cards issued in Singapore.

“Singapore banks increased security for Visa and MasterCard, so tourists [in Burma] with cards from the city-state can’t take out money yet,” Pe Myint said. “But we’re working on fixing that to make things more convenient for them very soon.”

2 Responses to Burma’s Banks Prepare Phone Apps for Easy Money Transfers

  1. Changing the cash system to digital cyber system just so because it looks so coooool and modern as the Burmese are soooo, sooo moderrn even more than the mMartians is playing right in the game of TOTAL control of all the wealth , be it by resources of slave labour or prostitution, any thing, into the hands of the MONEY CONTROLLER’s literally in totally voluntary and delightedly.

    Like Mi Aye in Mi Aye nga khar nar.

    Put away those stupid Muslims are bad or any one is bad or anything like that and listen to Sheikh Imran Hosein.


    Post second world war Independence means nothing as the monetary system is incorporated into he hands of the puppeteer, those countries will never get out of the control of money handlers. Look here:


    By sheer stupidity which turned out to be luck, Burma has been effectively excluded from international monetary system so that a (usually) Jew in New York or London ( who owns those fancy sounding clowns- Obama’s, Clinton’s, Gillard’s) cannot click a couple of keys and change the EXCHANGE RATE and COMMODITY PRICES including the basic necessities As YET.

    By playing along with this so advanced (more advanced even than Singapore, etc, ect, BS) the very people colluding with these MONEY CHANGERS who also own those financial agencies.

    And one of the main reasons the youth of South Africa (quite rightly, but belatedly) accused and felt indignant about Mandela http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/How-Mandela-sold-out-blacks-20120717 was exactly this issue of “Failed economic negotiations and state ownership of the Reserve Bank”.

    Currently India, Russia and Korea are trying to shake themselves out of the suffocating hegemony of US dollar and US dollar dominated minority ruthlessly dictated monetary system by trading oil with Iran without dollars.

    Third World Riba Conference arranged by Mahathir Mohammed was done just in November in Kuala Lumpur.

    Every one is trying to have control of their own financial system or at least have minimal interference by such faceless, nameless, rule-less officials from IMF, WB, ADB and trying to have sovereign control (ideally) over monetary system, and quality and quantity of money in circulation.

    Burma in her usual conceited way trying to be oh-so modern will simply end up with voluntary surrender of the most important exchange vehicle to people of unknown offices and motive so a click of a keyboard will determine how many people live or die with a shot fired.

  2. If the country is still lacking an extensive ATM network shouldn’t that be their main focus?

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