Credit cards to be introduced in Syria
A Syrian bank announced plans Monday, December 25, to introduce the country's first credit cards, as Damascus continues to reform its economy. Syrians can now acquire credit cards only by applying to banks abroad.
The Savings Bank published its tender in local newspapers and asked for bids from foreign companies. The contract winner will be responsible for "supplying, installing and making operational" credit card equipment as well as training employees and marketing, the tender said.
The moves come as part of Syria's efforts to modernize its economy. Syrian banks have been nationalized since 1963 and have managed services from savings accounts to the financing of state industries and housing loans.
In December, the government approved the privatization of Syrian banks and called on state banks to update their services.
The closest private bank to Syria right now is in Chtaura, Lebanon, a 90-minute drive from Damascus.
Also Monday, the Commercial Bank of Syria announced a contract bid open to foreign companies for the automation of its banking services. The contract winner will have to provide equipment and banking software. The bidding period for both contracts closes at the end of Febrary.— (AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)