Ukraine’s Cards and Payments Industry: Emerging Opportunities, Trends, Size, Drivers, Strategies, Products and Competitive Landscape

Date: 2015-09

“Ukraine’s economy was deeply impacted by the 2008–2009 global economic crises and saw demand decrease for its steel and chemical exports. In August 2010, Ukraine entered into an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for US$15.1 billion to put the country on the growth path and revive its beleaguered banking sector, and GDP growth resumed from 2010 onwards reaching a peak of 5.11% in 2011.
A lack of government enthusiasm in implementing key reforms in the energy sector caused the IMF program to stall in 2011; as a result, real GDP growth fell to 0.3% in 2013. This led to a decrease in the foreign exchange reserves in 2013, with fears of sovereign debt default in 2014. In March 2014, the European Union (EU) and IMF announced bail-out packages worth EUR11.2 billion and US$14–18 billion respectively, to support Ukraine’s economy, although prospects over the forecast period (2014–2018) are uncertain due to the Crimean conflict.
The Ukrainian card payments channel grew at a healthy pace both in value and volume terms during the review period (2009–2013); the number of cards in circulation in the channel grew from 29.7 million in 2009 to 35.7 million in 2013, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.76%, and is anticipated to further post a CAGR of 5.06% over the forecast period to reach 45.3 million in 2018.
In terms of transaction value, the card payments channel grew at a review-period CAGR of 27.25%. The card payments channel is forecast to increase at a forecast-period CAGR of 14.50%.
Many factors supported review-period growth, such as an increase in per capita income, payment infrastructure modernization, and the adoption of technologically advanced payment cards. The government supported modernization in the form of regulations in September 2010 mandating all companies selling goods and services to accept card payments, contributed to the growth in value terms during the review-period. Banks have also targeted corporate employees and opened salary accounts, leading to the issue of debit cards in high volume.
Growing consumer demand for prepaid cards has forced banks and issuing companies to introduce many variants of prepaid cards to meet specific needs. PrivatBank and Prominvestbank offer the E Card and Visa Virtuon respectively, while Ukrsotsbank offers the Gift Card. Cards for other specific purposes such as public transport fares and online shopping are slowly gaining importance in Ukraine.”

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