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Kazakhstan might launch a single system of ATMs operated by the Central Bank

14 may 2013, 19:29
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Chairman of Kazakhstan National Bank Gregory Marchenko. Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
Chairman of Kazakhstan National Bank Gregory Marchenko. Photo by Yaroslav Radlovskiy©
The National Bank of Kazakhstan has started drafting a legislation to launch a single system of ATMs belonging to the National Bank [planned to replace all the current ATMs owned by the country’s commercial banks], KazTag reported May 8, citing the National Bank’s Press Service.

Earlier Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev tasked the National Bank [the country’s Central Bank] to draft suggestions on launching a single system of ATMs.

According to Gregory Marchenko, the National Bank’s Governor, the suggested single system of ATMs will enable to cut down the service fee twofold as compared to the current average rate.

“Imagine a situation … a retired person receives his pension allowance into his or her card account. S/he doesn’t feel like walking a long distance to an ATM owned by his or her respective bank. S/he goes to the nearest one. The service fee turns out to be 2% (…) retired people are not aware of banking issues like that … 2% is a sizeable amount for this category of people. In individual cases the service fee may reach 5%”, Mr. Marchenko elaborated.

“In almost all shopping malls there are 10 ATMs on average. Some run out of cash, some are broken. People have to withdraw money using ATMs owned by other banks. The idea is to buy out all the ATMs from commercial banks. From that on ATMs will be handling cards issued by all banks”, he said.

“National Bank should run a single system of ATMs across Kazakhstan to make sure the service fee is the same (…) It’s quite understandable that smaller banks mostly support the suggestion, whereas bigger banks that own an expanded network of ATMs are opposed (…) The latter are trying to defend their interests. But we should understand that interests of people prevail over interests of a handful of bigger banks (…)”, Mr. Marchenko believes.

The suggestion has caused mixed reactions. Ms. Nina Zhussupova, Chairwoman of Kazkommertsbank Board of Directors, said the Bank is against the initiative.

Askar Smagulov, Vice Chairman of Halyk Bank Board of Directors, believes that “the decision to join the single system of ATMs should be voluntary for commercial banks”. “The arguments put forward by the National Bank are weak (…) there are no sound calculations (…) The Single Registry of Securities earlier proposed by the National Bank as a necessity renders its services at doubled tariffs as compared to tariffs earlier applied by private registries [substituted for by the single entity] (…)”, according to vlast.kz.

Pavel Mironov, Kaspi Bank Managing Director, believes that “ATMs are not only cash machines, but rather a tool to attract new customers (…) Kaspi Bank has been always thinking of offering new services with regards to payments and transfers. It is important the new system of ATMs is capable of introducing advanced solutions offered by banks. Another important issue is how the work with international payment systems such as Visa and Maestro will be aligned”, vlast.kz cites him as saying.

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