Wednesday, November 24 2021 14:28
Karine Melikyan

Non-cash plastic transactions continue to gain momentum; 30%  threshold in total volume has already been passed

Non-cash plastic transactions continue to gain momentum; 30%  threshold in total volume has already been passed

ArmInfo. In Armenia, the total volume of plastic transactions slowed down the y-o-y growth from 32.5% in 9 months of 2020 to 21.6% in 9 months of 2021, amounting to  2.3 trillion AMD (including transactions abroad with cards of  Armenian issuing banks). This is evidenced by the data of the RA  Central Bank.

According to the regulator, the growth of plastic transactions is  ensured due to the activity of transactions through virtual posses  (vPOS), the volume of which increased by 20% per annum in 9 months -  up to 424.2 billion drams, as a result of which their share in  non-cash transactions exceeded 60%. and in the total volume of  plastic transactions reached 18.5%. This made it possible to further  increase the share of the volume of non-cash transactions in the  total volume of plastic transactions - from 29% in 9 months of 2020  to 31% in 9 months of 2021 (703 billion drams), despite a slowdown in  y-o-y growth from 32.4% to 27.  4%. The activity of non-cash  transactions was conditioned by Internet commerce, popularization of  mobile and web applications by banks and Armenian Card, as well as  effective incentives such as CashBack.  Nevertheless, in the total  volume of plastic transactions, cash transactions hold the dominant  pklace- 69% or 1.6 trillion drams, of which over 95% were made  through ATMs. And the 19.2% y-o-y growth in cash transactions was  supported by a 20.1% increase in ATM transactions.

In terms of cards, the volume of plastic transactions showed growth  both locally and internationally.  Moreover, the most noticeable  increase was seen in transactions with Visa cards - by 31% per annum  to 1.3 trillion drams in 9 months of 2021. Then, MasterCard cards  follow in terms of rates, transactions on which increased by 16.2%  y-o-y to 685.7 billion drams. And even more modest y-o-y growth was  observed in transactions with local ArCa cards and other  international cards (HSBC, AmEx, DC) - by 10% and 7%, respectively,  to AMD 387.7 billion and AMD 62.8 billion.

In terms of the share in the total volume of plastic transactions,  the leadership is held by Visa cards - 50.5% (against 47% a year  earlier), MasterCard is in second place - 29.9% (against 31.3% a year  earlier), ArCa is in third place - 16.9 % (versus 18.7% a year  earlier), and the remaining 2.7% (versus 3.1% a year earlier) are  transactions with other international cards.  In the total number of  cards, the dominant position is also retained by Visa cards - 43.4%  (against 42.6% a year earlier), followed by ArCa - 29.2% (against  30.1% a year earlier), MasterCard - 25.6% ( against 25.5% a year  earlier), and the remaining 1.8% (against 1.7% a year earlier) are  other international cards (HSBC cards, AmEx and Diners Club).

The contraction in the y-o-y growth rate of plastic transactions is  explained by the slowdown in the growth of the number of cards from  9.1% in 9 months of 2020 to 5.3% in 9 months of 2021, the number of  which as of October 1, 2021 are more than 2.621 million pcs. In  particular, the number of local ArCa cards slowed down y-o-y growth  from 3.9% to 1.8%, Visa - from 12.8% to 7.1%, MasterCard - from 9.7%  to 5.8%, while how the growth of other international cards  accelerated from 7.1% to 10.8% due to a 55% growth of number in the  AmEx. And the number of ArCa-MIR cards, of which there are slightly  more than 7 thousand pcs, increased by 46.2% on a y-o-y terms.

It should be noted that the majority shareholder of ArCa is the  Central Bank of Armenia, then the major shareholders of the  organization are ACBA-Credit Agricole Bank, Armeconombank and  Ardshinbank, and the remaining 14 banks each own 2% of shares. HSBC  Bank Armenia and VTB Bank (Armenia) operate on the card market  through their own processing. All 17 banks of Armenia operate in the  plastic market, including Armswissbank, which has been issuing cards  since March 2018. 


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