Bank Audi has launched Syria’s first debit card.
The Mastercard can be used anywhere in the world, and withdraws funds directly from the user’s bank account.
It’s a big step forward, because until now, only credit cards had been available – and were subject to strict application criteria. Syria is a low credit country – there is very little commercially available credit (to consumers or businesses). While this has hampered economic growth, it also has protected Syria to a large extent from the global credit crisis.