UnionPay International, a global subsidiary of China's only domestic bank card organisation UnionPay, has signed a chip card standard licensing agreement with Myanmar Payment Union (MPU), the national switch network in Myanmar.

As per terms of the agreement, MPU will adopt UnionPay chip card standard as its sole technical standard in card acceptance and card issuance. Currently, Thailand and Laos are using the UnionPay chip card standard and Myanmar is the third to adopt it.

MPU represents all the commercial banks in Myanmar, and all the single-brand MPU chip cards issued by institutions under MPU adopt the local standard, and can only be used in Myanmar.

After an extensive review and consultation with the industry, UnionPay was selected by the Central Bank of Myanmar, MPU and local mainstream banks last year as the sole provider of chip card standard for Myanmar.

UnionPay International said that the company will realise large-scale card issuance in Myanmar through technical standard cooperation with the local payments industry, and can thus accelerate the localisation of its business.

Additionally, the agreement will fulfil Myanmar’s demand for upgrading its chip card standard to the international level. It will also build a strong foundation to launch chip card-based innovative products, including contactless payment and mobile payment.

MPU acting chairman U Zaw Win said that the UnionPay chip card standard brings the Myanmar payments industry to the world stage as it complies with international EMV standard and security.

Win further added that the tripartite collaboration on the chip standard lays a strong foundation for innovation, value-added services, and increase convenience for Myanmar consumers and businesses.