by Erik Abrahamyan
On December 10, VTB Bank (Armenia) and Visa summed up the results of Olympic Campaign Sochi 2014. The campaign was aimed at increasing the noncash payments by Visa cards of VTB Bank (Armenia) and raising the Armenian consumers' awareness of operability of the Visa payment cards.
It was pointed out at today's press conference that 100 cardholders of VTB Bank (Armenia), who obtained the biggest number of bonus points, became participants in a drawing of 101 valuable prizes of the Bank, particularly, 50 certificates for purchase of appliances at ARAY store until 1 Feb 2014 and 50 certificates for the Bank's products at preferential terms (-1% for a loan or +1% for a deposit) until 1 Feb 2014. The key prize of the campaign was a trip (for two persons) to the Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi. The winner of the key prize was the Bank's customer Armen Grigoryan.
"Due to the Olympic Campaign Sochi 2014 held jointly with Visa, the Bank's customers can feel themselves part of the Olympic movement and root for the sportsmen from the tiers. This is the second joint campaign this year and it has become a stimulus to use the Bank's Visa cards when making various kinds of payments, which have grown more than twofold. It is pleasant to realize that the Bank is promoting the popularity of the plastic cards in Armenia", said Yuri Gusev, Director General, Chairman of Directorate of VTB Bank (Armenia).
When asked by ArmInfo to assess the situation of Visa cards in the plastic market of Armenia, Irina Kamkhadze, Country Manager Caucasus countries at Visa, said that the dynamics is stable if the matter concerns the ratio of noncash operations against the total card turnover, which has been 10% for almost a year. "This is a rather high index as compared with the CIS countries, for instance. Our key goal is to increase the volume of noncash payments", she said.
During the campaign (from Oct 1 till Nov 30) the number of Visa card transactions grew by 50%. The turnover almost redoubled as compared with Nov 30 2012. The average daily quantity was 8,000 transactions.
"Visa and we will continue holding such campaigns. They have already offered us a new interesting project. As regards the Visa card tariffs, they are quite competitive. This is a well-balanced price, reflecting the actual cost of this service. Let's not forget that card business is one of the most investment-intensive banking activities," Gusev said in response to ArmInfo's question.
Armenia started acquiring Visa cards in 2001, with 12 Armenian banks already having such cards. As of Apr 1 2013 there were 600,000 active Visa cards in Armenia (30% more than a year before).
VTB Bank (Armenia) joined VTB Group in Apr 2004 and is fully owned by VTB Bank, the second biggest bank in Russia. VTB Bank (Armenia) is one of the leaders of Armenia's banking sector. It has 67 branches all over the country. It also has an own processing center, which gives it an advantage on the card market.