The Russian payment system needs developing

At present, for each citizen in Russia, 0.6 bank cards are issued. In comparison, the worldwide average is more than three cards per person. This information was passed on by Interfax from links to an announcement from the Vice-President of Centerbank, Tatiana Chugunova, made during the conference Bank Cards: Effective Business in Moscow on Wednesday.

Ms. Chugunova estimates that within one or two years, each resident of Russia will have a plastic bank card. The current figure is undoubtedly very low. There are currently 94 million plastic cards on issue, of which, in her words, "15 million genuinely and effectively work". 710 credit organizations of the 1166 registered actually issue cards, Chugunova added. "In the last year, the number of banks issuing cards has risen by a significant percentage, and the number of cards issued has increased by 47%", she pointed out.

In the first half of 2007, 758 million transactions were performed using plastic cards, to a value of 2.8 trillion rubles, the Vice-President announced. There are roughly 275,000 working ATMs in the country, and there number is increasing at a rate of 35-40% per year. In addition, 60% are located within 8 regions of the Russian Federation, including 45% in Moscow and the Moscow Region.

Tatiana Chugunova remarked that in the Russian card market international companies dominate, occupying about 80% of the market, while Russian payment systems (Sberkart, Zolotaya Korona and others) take about 20%. "We need to develop Russian payment systems. It is essential that we create a national payment system and, if the banking community takes the initiative, Centerbank is, with all its powers and drawing on international experience, ready to provide essential methodological help", said Tatiana Chugunova, adding that at present the Bank of Russia will press for changes to perfect legislation to help develop the card business.