Features quarantine in Kazakhstan, payment cards have become more popular than cash

the Volume of cashless card payments in may amounted to 2 trillion 364,1 billion tenge. And this is a new historical maximum. Compared with April, the volume of payments increased by a third, or 600,4 billion tenge. In annual terms, the growth is more significant: in may 2019 Bank transfer was paid 927,6 billion, which is 2.5 times less than now.

It should be noted that the sharp increase in payments occurred after the slump in April – then the volume of cashless payments has decreased by 18%.

The Association of financiers of Kazakhstan (AFK) this dynamics associated with quarantine actions:

“This surge is mainly due to pent-up demand for the purchase of goods and services due to the closure of retail chains, business centres and travel restrictions in April, as well as the desire of citizens to minimize cash payments.


this peak probably is a one-off, especially given the return of certain restrictions on the pandemic in the country,”

— note in the AFC.

Cards pay more than cash

Overall in may the total volume of transactions via payment cards (cash withdrawal clearing) in Kazakhstan showed a growth of 32.9% and amounted at the end of month 3 trillion 690 billion tenge. The main increase is accounted for non-cash payments (+600,4 billion), while the ATM transactions showed a less pronounced growth (+to 312.8 billion).

“Against this background, the ratio of volume of cashless payments cards for cash withdrawals at ATMs have increased to 178% (from 174% a month earlier.) We will remind, a year earlier, in may 2019, the figure was only 69%,” — noted in the AFC.

So now

for every thousand tenge taken from the ATM, accounts for more than 1.7 million, paid in cash

“The popularity and accessibility of digital channels to pay for goods and services are accelerating Kazakhstan’s transition towards a cashless economy. As a result, the volume of payments on cards in the near future may twice exceed the corresponding figures cash withdrawals at ATMs.

However, due to the increasing rise in the incidence of COVID-19 in the country there may be additional measures to combat the pandemic. It may accordingly affect the total volume of transactions via payment cards in Kazakhstan”, — consider in Association of financiers of Kazakhstan.

More than 80% of cashless payment provides Internet

However, the average size of transactions, Bank transfer is still far away: “average price” for such transactions in may amounted to 12 142 tenge (a month earlier — 12 976), while the average size of the withdrawal amount to ATM – 52 708 tenge (50 875 in April). The difference is more than 4 times.

In may, there was a growth of payments via POS-terminals (+43,1%) and via Internet (+32,4%). Due to a more pronounced recovery in the volume of payments via POS-terminals, their share of total volume of cashless card payments increased to 17.7% (up 16.6 per cent). Accordingly, the share of online transactions decreased to 81.9% (up 82,9%).

Nevertheless, over the past 12 months, the share of POS-terminals in total volume of transactions by cards in Kazakhstan decreased almost twice — from 32% to 18%. For payment via ATM and other methods account for less than 1% of all payments.

The fastest rates are growing in the South

In terms of regions, the situation looks as follows.

In may, almost two-thirds of all non-cash payments occurred in 4 regions:

  • Almaty (37,9%),
  • Nur-Sultan (15,2%),
  • Shymkent,
  • The Turkestan region (9.2 percent).

Thus, the basis of the cashless economy are cities where non-cash payment is more popular than in the regions.

Nevertheless, a positive trend was observed throughout Kazakhstan. Compared to may 2019, the growth of cashless payments made up

  • in Karaganda region — 102.2 billion tenge (5 times)
  • Atyrau region – 79.5 billion (5.3 times)
  • Mangistau and Almaty – 71.9 billion (6.7 and 3.2 times, respectively).

However, leaders in the growth regions remain familiar. Nur-Sultan, Almaty, Shymkent and Turkestan region, the total increase amounted to 722,4 billion tenge.

9839b5c369c09479359e25efa4e0df63 - Features quarantine in Kazakhstan, payment cards have become more popular than cash

Leaders in growth are the southern regions. The greatest relative increase for the month occurred in the region of Turkestan and Shymkent. The volume of cashless payments for the year increased 13.4 times. Figure Zhambyl region a little more modest – 11.2 times. In Kyzylorda region increased 9 times.

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