A clutch of leading Russian banks are preparing for the introduction of contactless ATMs, enabling users to make withdrawals and conduct currency transactions at the cash point via popular payments apps from Apple, Samsung and Google.
This autumn, Sberbank and Russian Standard Bank launched the technology in test mode. It is anticipated that they will soon be joined by VTB, CBOM, Otkritie and other leading Russian banks, which are considering introducing contactless ATMs in 2019.
Alexei Okhorzin, director of the retail product department at Credit Bank of Moscow, says 80% of the bank's customer base use various contactless payment services.
“Nowadays, a card is not just a piece of plastic, but a means of payment, which can take the form of a ring, phone or key fob," he says. "CBOM is interested in developing contactless operations using smartphones and expanding the capabilities of its mobile bank using popular services such as Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay”.
According to the MasterCard, since the beginning of this year contactless payments with cards or smartphones have accounted for more than half of all transactions in Russia. In its turn, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation estimates the present share of non-cash payments in Russia in general at almost 50%.
In a separate development, Sberbank is partnering with Ingenico to enable international online merchants to accept the national MIR Card Payment System, providing competition to the dominant Visa and Mastercard schemes in Europe.
Since the introduction of the domestic card scheme in 2015, some 45 million MIR cards have already been issued, with more than half issued by Sberbank. From January to August 2018, upwards of 58 million online transactions were performed using the national card scheme.
Svetlana Kirsanova, director of Sberbank’s Acquiring and Bank Card Division, comments: “Russian consumers love buying from international brands and want to use their MIR cards to do so. With Ingenico, we can now offer this opportunity to our customer cardholders from Russia’s national payment system.”