Burma has given approval for the introduction of foreign credit cards, whose absence has been a long-standing headache for visitors to the former pariah state.
Visa, MasterCard, China UnionPay and Japan Credit Bureau have been granted permission by the finance ministry to enter the long-closed country, state-run media announced.
The Post and Telecommunications department and Myanmar Information Technology Co. will handle the technical side of the launch of card services at local banks and ATMs and their use at hotels and restaurants.
Due to decades of US sanctions, major credit cards are not widely accepted in the country, obliging tourists and businesspeople to carry wads of cash.
But Washington opened the door to their return earlier this year, easing restrictions after reforms including the release of political prisoners and the election of Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi to parliament.
MasterCard said last month it had signed a deal with Burma's Co-Operative Bank it hoped would pave the way for electronic payments, a move it said would have a "huge impact on tourism and travel".
(Source : Ninemsn)