Visa opens Myanmar office and appoints Hiro Taylor as Country Manager
Myanmar leads the way as the fastest growing market for Visa globally
Visa, the global leader in payments, has today opened an office in Yangon and announced Hiro Taylor as its new Myanmar Country Manager, further demonstrating its commitment to the development of financial infrastructure and electronic payments in the country.
The new Visa office – the first for Visa in almost a decade – and appointment of Mr. Taylor mark the latest milestones in Visa’s drive to expand access to electronic payments across Myanmar.
Hiro Taylor, Visa Country Manager, Myanmar said: “It’s a great honor to be establishing Visa’s office in Myanmar and leading our efforts to bring real, tangible economic and societal benefits to consumers and businesses in Myanmar. I’m proud of the progress we’ve made to date and even more excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, as together with our clients we work to bring the benefits of electronic payments to everyone, everywhere across Myanmar.”
Since entering the country in 2012, Visa has seen considerable growth in the uptake of electronic payments. Last year, transaction volume, payment volume and card numbers have all seen triple-digit growth – the highest in any Visa market globally1.
Recently City Mart, the country’s largest supermarket chain, started to accept internationally-issued Visa cards at three of their key supermarkets2 with high expatriate and traveler traffic. It is the first time electronic payment was accepted at leading retailers, and has generated much interest from other merchants, financial institutions and the public.
Today, there are more than 1,800 retailers accepting electronic payments and 1,150 ATMs across the country. Transactions on Visa cards by tourists, inclusive of ATM withdrawals, have accounted for more than USD $160 Million3. There are eight local banks licensed to work with Visa and five Visa Multicurrency Travel Prepaid card programs have been launched.
“As the country experiences unprecedented economic growth, there is a clear demand for simple, convenient and secure electronic payments. We’ll continue to push the boundaries of payments through our network around the world, and we fully expect to see Myanmar leapfrog into the digital age via mobile payments and eCommerce channels,” said Mr. Taylor.
1 VisaNet: Quarter Dec 2014
2 Internationally-issued Visa prepaid, debit and credit cards are accepted at City Mart Junction Square, Market Place by City Mart at Golden Valley and Market Place by City Mart at Parkson in Yangon
3 VisaNet data Dec 2012 - Dec 2014
Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. We operate one of the world's most advanced processing networks — VisaNet — that is capable of handling more than 56,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit, or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations; however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: pay now with debit, pay ahead of time with prepaid or pay later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa, visacorporate.tumblr.com and @VisaNews.
History of Visa in Myanmar
The first international card accepted by merchants in Myanmar
April 2015: Visa announces local office opening in Myanmar and new country manager
- Visa opens local office in Myanmar and appoints Hiro Taylor as its new Myanmar Country Manager
August 2014: Introduction of auto-reload service with Myanmar Apex Bank Visa Prepaid card
- Auto-reload allows MAB Visa cardholders the convenience of automatic top-up by linking MAB bank account with the MAB multi-currency Prepaid Visa card.
July 2014: “Credit, Technology and the Rural Myanmar Dream” Event
- Attended by more than 100 artists, technologists, bankers, and designers the presentation discussed the creation of a financial product to benefit the rural population of Myanmar
- Project organized in collaboration with Proximity Designs and Studio D Radiodurans and included in-depth eight-week research across the country.
July 2014: Mobile Financial Services and Financial Inclusion in Myanmar Workshop
- Hosted by Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries, and Rural Development, Visa initiated the workshop to introduce Mobile Financial Services to government officials. Workshop was attended by over 80 Ministry staff across 13 Ministries.
May 2014: CB Bank FIFA World Cup 2014 Visa Prepaid cards launched
- Limited edition commemorative FIFA World Cup 2014 Visa Prepaid cards launched
April 2014: AYA World Travel Card and AYA World Travel Corporate Card launched
- To meet with the demand from corporate and individual cardholders traveling abroad, another multicurrency Visa Prepaid card was launched with Ayeyarwady Bank, this time also with added Visa payWave contactless payment capability.
December 2013: Multicurrency pre-paid Visa cards introduced in Myanmar
- Together with Myanmar Apex Bank and CB Bank, another milestone for Visa with the rollout of Myanmar’s multicurrency Prepaid cards for Myanmar travelling overseas.
November 2013: Visa and Myanmar Banks Set to Launch First Visa Multicurrency Travel Prepaid Card
- Visa announced it is working closely with Myanmar banks to launch the first Visa Multicurrency Travel Prepaid card for Myanmar cardholders to use when traveling overseas.
July 2013: Myanmar Risk Management Council (MRMC) established
- Visa took the lead to help Myanmar clients establish the MRMC. Over 25 delegates from all eight Visa clients attended the first meeting.
March 2013: Visa Partners with Local Banks to Expand Payment Card Acceptance Network
- Visa announced the continued momentum of its payment network expansion in Myanmar with Co-operative Bank (CB), Kanbawza Bank (KBZ) and Myanma Apex Bank (MAB) to further enable point-of-sale (POS) acceptance for Visa payment cards.
January 2013: Visa marks first POS transaction
- Visa celebrated the first Visa payment service for point-of-sale (POS) transactions in Myanmar in cooperation with Myanmar Oriental Bank (MOB) at the Green Elephant Restaurant in Yangon.
December 2012: Visa hosts Mobile and Electronic Payments Conference in Myanmar
- More than 200 people attended the conference, including the Deputy Governor of the Central Bank and officials from the Ministry of Tourism, Finance and Communications.
- Held on 11 December 2012 at the Myanmar International Convention Center in Naypyitaw, Myanmar.
December 2012: Visa launches ATM network in Myanmar
- Visa launched with 90 ATMs operated by Co-operative Bank and Kanbawza Bank across Myanmar. Currently, there are more than 1,150 ATMs.
- Visa cardholders can access cash across major tourist regions in the country. Co-operative Bank and Kanbawza Bank’s combined Visa ATM network covers major cities, towns and tourist sites in Myanmar including Yangon, Mandalay, Bago, and Taunggyi.
October 2012: Visa signs first licensing agreements with Myanmar banks
- Visa signed its first licensing agreements in Myanmar with Kanbawza Bank, CB Bank, and Myanmar Oriental Bank. The agreements will establish arrangements for Visa branded payment cards to be accepted in Myanmar.
August 2012: Visa announces market entry plans
Visa publicly starts its first steps toward entering the cash-dominated Myanmar market by training local banks to use electronic-payments systems.