27 September 2006
The New System will be Offered to 20 Banks<br>Yesterday, at a press conference dedicated to the five-millionth visa card issued by Sberbank, Visa International representative Oliver Hughes announced that a project introducing a system of card-to-card money transfers in Russia has launched its third stage. The project, called Visa Money Transfer (VMT), is now being tested in six Russian banks. Also yesterday, Rosbank announced its intention to participate in the trial. Twenty credit organizations have expressed interest in joining the program, of which ten will be included in the project within the next year. The trial phase of the program will last another six months, after which the VMT system is expected to be unveiled in its full form. The VMT system allows any Visa cardholder to electronically transfer or receive funds to or from another Visa cardholder via an ATM transaction. To make the transaction, all that is needed is the other cardholder’s card number. Though the company “at this point is not positioning the new service as an alternative to the system of traditional money transfers,” VMT promises to be competition for that system. The only restriction is that the laws of the Russian Federation permit such transfers to be made in Russia only in rubles. Market analysts believe that the success of the system will depend on Visa’s commission policies. Bank commissions for transfers stand at around 1%, and if Visa’s commission is more than 0.5%, it is predicted that banks will find it hard to do business within the project. According to some sources, the commission earned by the bank whose client sends the transfer will be 1% of the transfer sum. The bank whose client receives the money will make $0.48 on each transaction. The commission charged by the payment system will be $0.05 + $1. Many Russian banks have expressed interest in the project, but most for now are observing the program’s development from the sidelines, preferring to judge for themselves its power to attract customers. http://www.kommersant.com/photo/75/DAILY/2006/180/KMO_032838_00111_1h_t75.jpg
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