Having more choices always proves beneficial

Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan discuss integration of national payment systems at level of central banks

By Vladimir Mikheev

Belarus, Russia and Kazakhstan discuss integration of national payment systems at level of central banks


Belarus has already established its own payment system — BelCard — while Russia and Kazakhstan are currently working on this issue. At the same time, the national banks of Belarus and Kazakhstan and the Central Bank of Russia are liaising ‘in order to develop mutual relations, facilitating co-operation between the national payment systems now being created in Russia and Kazakhstan, and the BelCard system — making this service available to citizens and businesses’, notes Sergey Dubkov, the Deputy Chairman of the National Bank’s Board of Directors.

Payment systems become more universal
Payment systems become more universal

The rather complex technical project requires strict structuring, the use of IT solutions in banking and telecommunication, and staff training; Mr. Dubkov notes that these elements are essential to the new collaborative system, which allows interbank interaction using the international SWIFT payment system and which will open new channels of interaction.

Mr. Dubkov explains, “We are not against Visa and MasterCard but, when these international payment systems began to reduce in popularity in Russia, the Chinese UnionPay system stepped in, proving profitable. People now have a choice, which is a good thing.”

The development and integration of national payment systems is a logical step for countries intent on creating a single economic space. It is also a global trend. Belarus began developing its national payment system and improving the infrastructure of cashless retail payments ahead of its partners in the future Eurasian Economic Union and now enjoys an advantage. “We began looking at these issues before our counterparts so we have an advantage that we should preserve and multiply,” asserts the Deputy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Belarus.
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