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‘Coffee wars’ on the horizon?

Sales of take-away coffee from Belarusian fuelling stations almost double that of last June
Marketing Department Head of the A-100 Company (Chain of Petrol Stations), Marina Ivanovskaya, states that the rise in coffee sales from the company’s fuelling stations may be down to people wanting to remain alert, needing to work longer hours. According to internal monitoring by the company, the largest growth has been registered in take-away coffee sales, with volumes almost doubling since last June. Taking into account growing demand, the company has invested around Br2.5bn (before denomination) this May in replacing its coffee equipment and improving quality. Coffee machines have been purchased from leading supplier Swiss Franke, with experts adjusting machines manually. Customers are now offered 100 percent Arabica coffee. Within the first month of replacing equipment, the company increased its coffee sales by another 10 percent. 

Take-away coffee at fuelling stations is a key source of revenue and an instrument for competition, taking into account equal prices for fuel. Fuelling stations may yet undertake ‘coffee wars’ to win customers. The A-100 Company is now considering opening its own cafes within fuelling stations. Most people currently drink their coffee in Belarus at cafes and at fast food restaurants.

By Alexander Fedotov

Paperless payments

Some time ago, owing to administrative resources, our retail outlets and service facilities began actively acquiring payment terminals. Along with some other measures over the past six years, we’ve tripled the volume of non-cash retail trade payments.

In this context, Belarusbank’s decision is logical: from August 1st, it has introduced a fee for cash payments at the bank: one Rouble per client inquiry (with proceeds given to charities). No fee will be charged for non-cash payments. The innovation does not affect veterans of the Great Patriotic War, or payments into the budget, or for fulfillment banking obligations (such as paying off loans or fees on other services). No fee will be charged for donations to charity accounts or for topping up individuals’ accounts with Belarusbank, or for currency purchase. 

Various high-tech solutions allow us to avoid cash payments at the bank, including self-service terminals, ATMs, multi-user workstations, and online banking: Internet banking, M-banking, SMS-banking, and TV banking. In addition, standing orders can be set up, with money transferred from accounts automatically. It seems that, alongside the other advantages of non-cash payments, which are primarily convenience-related, they are more economically efficient.

By Valeria Gavrusheva

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