How the war affected the development of non-cash payments in Ukraine
The payment card system continued working uninterruptedly throughout the war. This resilience can be explained by unifying all banks and payment systems to hold the financial front. In addition, non-cash payments pass quickly and without interruptions in Ukraine and abroad.
And yet, despite the fintech sector’s endurance, our country’s development of cashless payments has changed somewhat. That’s why the NBU prepared a review of this sector the other day. I can highlight a few key ideas from it.
The first change concerns the number of non-cash transactions and their amount. If in April this year the number of settlements using bank cards was 500 million, in the pre-war time, there were 15% more such transactions. Despite the decrease in transactions, their amount increased by 2%. These changes are generally insignificant compared to the damage that every day brings us Russia.
The second interesting fact is the increase in cashless transactions with payment card demand among Ukrainians. So, in April 2022, the share of non-cash transactions with payment cards within Ukraine was 71%. While in January, this figure reached 62%. It means that Ukrainians began to trust non-cash payments more during combat operations, as they are more reliable than usual.
The payment infrastructure — terminals and ATMs suffered greatly from the war. According to the regulator’s assessment, the number of active payment terminals in comparison with the pre-war level decreased by one-third and the number of ATMs — by 20%. This situation arose due to the suspended operation of infrastructure in the temporarily occupied territories or regions where military operations are taking place. For our part, we lost about 40% of the fleet.
Thus, the war affected the development of cashless payments in Ukraine, reducing the total number of operations. But the global trend shows that Ukrainians are increasingly using and will continue switching to cashless payment methods. The financial sector is ready to hold its ground thanks to the trust of its citizens.