Myanmar to adopt UnionPay chip card standard

The Myanmar Payment Union (MPU) and UnionPay International (UPI) have teamed up to implement a common UnionPay chip card standard in the country.

The UnionPay chip card standard complies with the global EMV chip card standard, and will be adopted by all banks operating in Myanmar.

The UnionPay chip card standard emerged as the standard of choice after stringent reviews and extensive consultations with Central Bank of Myanmar, MPU and major financial institutions.

Following this process, the current local chip card standard will be upgraded to the new UnionPay chip card standard which offers enhanced security. In addition, Myanmar Cardholders can use the locally-issued cards featuring the new UnionPay chip card standard anywhere in the world, at locations that accept the EMV chip card standard.

This announcement follows the implementation of the UnionPay chip card standard in Thailand and Laos in recent years. In Thailand, all new locally-issued debit cards will need to carry the Thai Bank Chip Card Standard starting August 2017, a chip card standard licensed by UPI and run by Thai Banker Association. In Laos, UnionPay provides support for the construction, operation and maintenance of the local payment systems.

In 2016, UPI also signed a chip card standard licensing cooperation agreement with seven other member institutions of Asian Payment Network. With this collaboration, the major switch networks in Singapore, Thailand, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines will adopt UnionPay chip card standard in card acceptance and card issuance.

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Acting Chairman of MPU, U Zaw Win, said, “The UnionPay chip card standard brings the Myanmar Payments industry to the world stage as it complies with international EMV standard and security. The tripartite collaboration on the chip standard lays a strong foundation for innovation, value-added services, and increase convenience for Myanmar consumers and businesses.”

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