Sunday, August 20, 2017

KBZ launches credit card after 12-year hiatus

Kanbawza bank marked the return of credit cards to Myanmar yesterday, along with a slate of other products including online and mobile banking.

The new KBZ credit card is displayed at a press conference yesterday. Photo: Aung Myin The new KBZ credit card is displayed at a press conference yesterday. Photo: Aung Myin

Kanbawza, which usually brands as KBZ, has received approval from the Central Bank of Myanmar and begun re-issuing credit cards, said senior managing director U Than Cho yesterday.

Domestic credit cards had proliferated over a decade ago, but the 2003 banking crisis brought a halt to the product.

U Than Cho said KBZ’s credit cards have been available since June 18 at its branches.

“We are following the Myanmar Payment Union guidelines, so it’s unlikely there will be a mistake again,” he said.

KBZ will rely on its existing customer data when issuing credit cards. The company is targeting businesspeople, government officials, professionals, private company staff with good salaries, its loan and deposit customers and people with regular income.

There will be three classes of credit card – classic, gold and, at the highest level, platinum, which will have maximum credit of K5 million. Interest rates are 13 percent a year.

Ashis Kumar Sharma, general manager of KBZ’s card department, said the cards will require different qualifications. Those with guarantees or collateral will be able to receive the gold or platinum cards, but those without collateral will be limited to a classic card with a K300,000 limit.

“I think it is the proper time to issue credit cards, as online transactions have already started. We will start as much as the central bank’s rules and regulations allow, and will be able to provide more services when the credit bureau appears,” he said.

The bank also launched its internet banking and mobile banking products yesterday.

They will allow customers to transfer money, check bank statements and request cheque books to be delivered to their offices or homes without travelling to the bank. The service can be used on Android and iOS smartphones and devices.

General manager U Soe Tin Maung Zaw said the registration fee for the service is K3000, and account transfer fees are K200 for own-account transfers and K500 for internal account transfers.