Monday, November 14 2022 15:51
Karine Melikyan

Share of non-cash transactions in plastic card transaction near 40% 

Share of non-cash transactions in plastic card transaction near 40% 

ArmInfo. This January-September, the volume of plastic card transactions showed a 33.1% growth, up to AMD 3,020bln, against a 21.6% growth last January-September (including transactions effected abroad by means of Armenian issuing banks'  cards).

The Central Bank of Armenia (CBA) reports AMD 291bln transactions by  means of Armenian issuing banks' cards (nearly 10% of the total  number of transactions)  - a 2.1-fold year-on-year growth. 

Highly active transactions by means of vPOS's accounts for the higher  number of plastic card transactions - a year-on-year growth from 20%  to 50.4%, over AMD 637.9bln this January-September. As a result,  their share in non-cash transactions reached 56%, and exceeded 21.1%  in plastic card transactions (against 18.5% in the corresponding  period last year). This allowed the share of non-cash transactions in  the total volume of plastic card transactions to grow from 31% last  January-September to 38% this January- September (AMD 1,148bln), with  a rapid acceleration in the annual growth in the absolute value from  27.4% to 63.3%. Among the factors accounting for more active non-cash  transactions are Internet trade, mobile and web applications being  popularized by banks and by the Armenian Card system, as well as  effective incentives like CashBack. However, cash transactions remain  dominant in plastic card transactions - 62% (against 69% in the  corresponding period last year) or AMD 1,900bln, with over 96% of  them effected by means of ATMs. The deceleration in the annual growth  from 19.2% down to 18.8% was accompanied by a deceleration in the  growth of bank transactions from 20.1% down to 18.2%. 

In terms of cards, both local cards and international cards showed  almost equal growth in the volume of plastic card transactions.  Specifically, the volume of transactions effected by means of the  local cards ArCa showed a year-on-year growth from 10% up to 23.2%,  totaling AMD 477.7bln by the end of this September. The volume of  transactions effected by means of Visa cards showed a deceleration in  the annual growth from 31% down to 23.1%, totaling 1,600bln by the  end of this September. Transactions using other international cards  (HSBC, AmEx, DC) showed acceleration in the annual growth from 7% up  to 21.5%, totaling AMD 76.3bln by the end of this September.  Transactions by means of MasterCard's showed acceleration in the  annual growth from 16.2% up to 20.8%, totaling AMD 828.7bln by this  September. 

In the total volume of plastic card transactions, Visa cards remain  leaders (54% against 50.5% in the corresponding period last year),  followed by MasterCard's  (27.5% against 29.9% % in the corresponding  period last year), ArCa cards (16% against 16.9% % in the  corresponding period last year), and others (2.5% against 2.7% % in  the corresponding period last year). 

As regards the total number of cards, Visa cards remain leaders  (46.3% against 43.4% in the corresponding period last year), followed  by MasterCard's (24.1% against 25.6% in the corresponding period last  year), ArCa (23.8% against 29.2% in the corresponding period last  year), and others (HSBC-?????, AmEx and Diners Club) (5.8% against  1.8% in the corresponding period last year).

An exponentially growing number of cards, - up to 3,048,000 as of  October 1, 2022, accounts for exponentially growing rates of plastic  card transactions - from 5.3% last January-September to 16.3% this  January-September. Specifically, the number of local cards ArCa  showed a 5.1% decline against a 1.8% growth in the corresponding  period last year. The number of Visa cards showed an accelerated  growth from 7.1% up to 24.2%, MasterCard showed an accelerated growth  from 5.8% to 9.3%, with other international cards showing a much  higher growth - from 10.8% up to 3.8-fold. The number of ArCa-MIR  cards, which is exceeding 11,700 now, has shown an annual growth from  46.2% up to 67.4%. 

The Central Bank of Armenia is the majority shareholder of ArCa, with  the other principal shareholder being ACBA Bank, Armeconombank, and  Ardshinbank. The rest 14 banks hold 2% each. HSBC Bank Armenia, VTB  Bank Armenia, Unibank and INECOBANK are operating their own  processing systems.  Seventeen Armenian banks are operating plastic  cards, with ArmSwissbank issuing its own cards since March 2018. One  more bank, Fast Bank, plans to enter Armenia's plastic card market  next June-July.   

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