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MasterCard signs deal with bank in Myanmar to boost e-payments

BANGKOK -- MasterCard on Thursday said it had signed a deal with a Myanmar bank that it hopes will pave the way for electronic payments, in an impoverished country where most transactions are made in cash.

A license deal with Myanmar's Co-Operative Bank lays the groundwork for its cards to be issued and accepted in the country, the company said, a move that follows the easing of United States financial restrictions to reward reforms.

The inability to pay for goods or withdraw cash with credit cards is a symptom of years of tough international sanctions against the former military dictatorship, which gave way to a quasi-civilian regime last year.

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