Chip Rescue Ranger

In the near future many Belarusians can change their bank plastic cards with a magnetic stripe to chip ones and to receive an electronic “purse”, more protected from swindlers with a variety of additional functions. Activity of such a renewal, as the specialists note, will depend on the intensiveness of introduction of new devices and software, but mostly — from quickness of determination, who will pay for all this: banks, population or somebody else
In the near future many Belarusians can change their bank plastic cards with a magnetic stripe to chip ones and to receive an electronic “purse”, more protected from swindlers with a variety of additional functions. Activity of such a renewal, as the specialists note, will depend on the intensiveness of introduction of new devices and software, but mostly — from quickness of determination, who will pay for all this: banks, population or somebody else.

A purse and a passenger ticket

The cards with a magnetic stripe leave to the past in the whole world. The cards with a chip— safer and multifunctional, are replacing them. In some countries, for example, with a help of a bank card you can pay for the passage in public transport, settle accounts, taking into account standard benefits for medicine, other goods and services.

Nearly 4,5 millions of bank plastic cards have already been issued in Belarus. At that, the number of chip cards, corresponding to generally accepted international EMV standards, according to some estimation, amounts to nearly 100 thousands.

First go credits

The National bank can’t oblige the banks of the country, for example, to issue only chip cards from 2008 and gradually to substitute the cards with a magnetic line, which are in circulation. “You can issue any decree, — says the head of administration of information technologies of the National Bank Vladimir Zhukov. — However, it is necessary to define the source of covering of expenses”.

In any case, he explains, somebody should pay for that. Yes, a chip card is considered safer in respect of swindlers. But banks will invest money, probably, only in that case, if it will be economically profitable for them, if, for example, at the expense of use of additional possibilities of the cards of a new type they will be able to earn more money.

Recently the number of credit cards both in Belarus and in Ukraine has been increasing actively. Usually there are more money on them, than on simple debit cards, which are often called “salary cards”. That is why, shared his opinion in the interview to the magazine Sergey Koptik, the head of administration of the Ukrainian “Reiffeisen Bank “Aval”, it would be more correct to begin the replacement of an old standard to a new one at the expense of issue of new credit cards primarily. Of course, such a card costs approximately tenfold more expensive, than a card with a magnetic line, but additional 4–5 dollars are not such a big amount for the credit receiver.

Hybrid cashpoints

To replace one type of the card for another one is just half of the matter, approves the General Director of the company “SoftClub”, the Deputy Chairman of association “Infopark” Vladimir Sirotko. According to him, it is necessary to update existing cashpoints, infokiosks, payment terminals in bank tills. Even those devices, which now read off information from chip cards “BelKart”, can’t serve the holders of cards of the international EMV standard.

“In my opinion, — supposed Vladimir Sirotko, — in the future all the banks will buy new equipment, which will read off both card types (both with a magnetic stripe, and chip cards of EMV standard). The process of modernization of cashpoints and other devices will, obviously, take many years”.

A price of a usual cashpoint is 20–25 thousand US Dollars. A new, hybrid one, will cost even cheaper. Nevertheless, it will be necessary to spend money, it won’t pan out just to modernize existing devices. Some banks have already emitted chip cards. For example, as the head of the “SoftClub” said, in Soligorsk the “Belarusbank” emitted nearly 20 thousands of such plastic “purses”. Primarily, payment terminals in the bank tills were also replaced. The specialists of “SoftClub” developed the software for them. Other companies have offered the programs for infokiosks and cashpoints.

Alexander Sokolovskiy
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