Burma may soon allow foreign credit cards

Banks in Burma are hoping to begin handling international credit card transactions by next year.

Than Lwin, deputy chairman of the prominent Kanbawza Bank, on Sunday said negotiations are under way with Visa on the use of its cards.

Foreign visitors have been unable to use credit cards because of US and EU restrictions on money transactions since 2003.

Western countries imposed sanctions on Burma because of its repressive policies, but began easing them this year after elected President Thein Sein initiated political and economic reforms.

Another Burma banker, who declined to be identified because he is not authorised to release information, said talks also were ongoing with MasterCard, China Union Pay and Japan Credit Bureau and he hoped credit card transactions would be possible by 2013.

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