Advantages have decisive meaning
By Nikolay Nemchinov
According to Igor Kovalev, a representative of the Visa Company in Belarus, Belarusians are actively using their Visa cards to pay for goods and services. “Figures speak for themselves. If we compare the third quarter of 2011 with the same period of 2010, it’s clear that there has been steady growth in usage — of 19 percent. Meanwhile, turnover in outlet chains has been growing even more quickly — up 26 percent,” Mr. Kovalev tells us. He emphasises that usage in shops (against the total card turnover) is the most vital figure — currently covering almost 15 percent. “This is one of the best results among CIS states,” stresses the expert.
Analysing the results of the past year’s work, Mr. Kovalev notes that Belarus is seeing positive dynamics in Visa use. “Over the past year (comparing data from the third quarter of 2011 and that from 2010) we see that the number of Visa cards issued by Belarusian banks grew by 2 percent,” he tells us. Positive trends have been observed in the development of infrastructure too, with more outlets accepting Visa cards. ATMs and POS-terminals rose in number by 31 percent in 2011.
Belarus launched the VISA Infinite in 2011 (joining the Visa Gold and Visa Platinum). At present, 18 Belarusian banks offer Visa premium products, with Visa premium cards accounting for around 1 percent of the total number of cards issued in the Republic. Around 5 percent of Visa transactions are performed with premium cards.