UNITED Amara Bank (UAB), one of the largest financial institutions in Myanmar, will issue more than 15,000 Visa credit cards by the end of this year, says Christopher Loh, the bank’s chief executive officer and special adviser to the chairman.
Loh announced on Tuesday the launch of UAB’s first suite of credit cards with Visa in the country. He said three types of Visa cards would be offered; Classic, Gold and Platinum, depending on an applicant’s monthly income.
Those aged 21 and older can register for the Classic card if they earn at least 300,000 kyats (Bt7,360) a month. Income of at least 1 million kyats is required for the Gold card, while Platinum card holders should have a monthly income of at least 2 million kyats, Loh said.
“We are aiming to issue more cards, depending on the market demand,” Loh said. “The market is still very young, and a number of exciting things have been planned. Hopefully you will see more and more products in the coming months.”
“With the launch of the cards, our customers can now shop and travel with UAB, giving them the convenience of cashless payments and many discounts and benefits with participating merchants both locally and overseas.”
He said the cards could be used for payment at more than 44 million international Visa merchants in 200 countries, including 7,000 in Myanmar. The users can also enjoy interest-free usage of up to 45 days.
Additionally, the cards will have benefits such as contactless payments with Visa payWave; cash advances at ATMs with Visa logos in Myanmar and globally; access for Platinum cardholders at over 800 lounges in 400 international airports up to six times; and travel, hotel, hospital and dining discounts with participating merchants.
More benefits for cardholders
“These cards are designed to help the customer get more benefits not available when using cash for payments. The cards also have special features for fraud prevention and features to avoid the card getting worn out with regular use,” Loh said.
“We are delighted to be able to work with Visa, the global leader in payments, to provide our customers with easy access to both local and international payments. This new milestone will deepen our retail banking presence. Together with other new initiatives, we are planning to bring new value to the market.”
Established in 2010, the bank has more than 2,500 employees in 76 branches across the nation, serving more than half a million customers. UAB plans to expand its branch network and to launch its own mobile banking service in the coming months, Loh said.
Visa Country manager Arturo Planell said greater access to financial products such as Visa credit cards would enable UAB customers to pay with greater confidence at home and abroad.
“Humans are always on the go. So we want to make sure that they have multiple payment options,” he said.
Planell said the cooperation played a crucial role in Visa’s efforts to change the culture by providing people with opportunities to try electronic payments for the first time.