Russian banks at a meeting in the Ministry of Industry and Trade announced the need for 115-120 million payment cards by the end of 2022, Kommersant reported, citing a source in the card market. The meeting was attended by representatives of Alfa-Bank, VTB, Gazprombank, MCB, FC Otkritie Bank, Rosselkhozbank, Sberbank and Sovcombank. The information was confirmed by two interlocutors of the publication, familiar with the results of the meeting.
The Central Bank reported that, together with the Ministry of Industry and Trade and market participants, they are working on building up plastic blanks and chips for bank cards. The MKB reported that the bank has a sufficient supply of plastic, including for Mir cards, but the chips for the cards are stored at specialized factories. The Ministry of Industry and Trade did not respond to the publication’s request. The banks participating in the meeting also did not respond to inquiries from the publication. Experts in the payment market explained that the main problem with providing customers with cards is the shortage of chips, most of which were previously purchased abroad.
A source in the electronics market told the publication that in Russia such chips are now produced only by the Mikron plant. The volume of the bank card market in Russia is about 20 million units per year, and the plant can satisfy this demand, however, in recent days, the demand for microchips from Mikron has increased many times over. The company declined to comment.
According to the interlocutor of the publication in the card market, by the end of the year, banks may need 160-170 million cards. Executive Director of the National Payment Association Maria Mikhailova said that the volume of card issuance can be reduced by extending the validity of cards, encouraging customers not to use physical cards, introducing new payment methods, etc. The Central Bank added that the popularity of virtual cards is now growing, so the demand for plastic cards from customers is declining.