EspañolThis Wednesday June 15, Florida Stonebank made history by releasing of the first American credit card for use in Cuba.
The Pompano Beach institution announced that the step was taken to make travel and work in the island easier for cardholders. Previously, Americans had to travel with cash and exchange it in state institutions with a 10-percent surcharge on every dollar. But this credit card is yet another step toward creating a more effective alliance between the two nations.
Stonegate Bank President David Seleski said Mastercard will be available in private establishments such as restaurants, and “would constitute an important step for American companies with business here.”
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However, the use of the credit card could be “for the moment, limited,” given that the terminals in Cuban stores are off-service. There are ten thousand credit card terminals on the Caribbean island.
After 54 years of commercial embargo, almost all US financial transactions in Cuba are forbidden, included direct wire transfers and the use of American credit and debit cards.
A series of exemptions to the US embargo on Cuba, announced by the Obama administration after December 2014, have unblocked the use of credit and debit cards on the island, allowing a direct link between the banks on both shores of financial transfers. Cubans may open Stonegate accounts in the US, but this impedes their access from Cuba.
The card will be a limited edition MasterCard. For the moment Stonegate will only be releasing 1,000 cards.