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Summer – Season of Travel, Shopping and Repairs
03 January 2013
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Over the first 8 months of this year the volume of transactions by cards issued by FUIB and its 33 partner banks served by the FUIB’s Processing Centre [1] grew by 41%; the number of card transactions increased by 27% year-over–year. The volume of card transactions effected outside Ukraine grew by 34%, which shows that payment cards gain popularity among Ukrainians.

“The share of card payments in the total card transactions is so far insignificant, 5% [2], but in summer the number of card transactions grew by almost 10% mainly due to the holiday season,” comments Dmitriy Krepak, Deputy Chairman of the FUIB’s Management Board in charge of retail business. “Such level of card payments is peculiar of developing economies. But the trend for the growth of card payments has already formed, and we have reasons to believe that their share in 2012 will increase.”

The structure of card payments mirrors the Ukrainians’ lifestyle. Thus, within summer months more Ukrainians travelled: we observe the increased purchase of traveller’s cheques, air and railway tickets, payments to travel agencies, car lease and hotel accommodation. In summer the number of card payments at cafes and restaurants declined by one third, but the average transaction amount grew by 9%.

Also, there was a dramatic growth of 130% in card payments for railway tickets, which, as we see, is the result of development of the railway tickets online booking system and the money saving trend to avoid flights and foreign trips.

Despite the widely spread opinion that in summer Ukrainians tend to experience less health issues the number of card payments at pharmacies did not dropped, but, on the contrary, grew by 5%. At the same time the volume of such payments increased by only 1%, which makes us suppose that mainly simple medicines were purchased. Within the same period the volume of payments for healthcare services grew by 30% (versus the spring).

After the peak in spring the summer turned out to the “low season” for the beauty industry: the demand for cosmetics and beauty parlour services dropped.

About one third of card payments are made at food supermarkets and shops. Within the summer months cardholders purchase more clothes and footwear than in spring, whereas the average transaction amount goes down, which is easy to explain by the fact that Ukrainians enjoy seasonal sales and have more time for shopping. Card payments for telecommunication services gain more popularity, even when abroad Ukrainians stick to their habits and pay for those services by cards. As usual, the summer is seen by Ukrainians as the season for housing repairs and construction works, and purchase of consumer electronics.

When abroad over 70% Ukrainians prefer card to cash. In summer cards are mainly used to pay for air tickets, hotel accommodation, lease of vehicles (cards, yachts). Outside Ukraine our people actively lease cars, which is seen from the dramatic increase in payments for these services and fuel within the summer months.

It is noteworthy that the number of purchased air tickets equals the number of purchases at duty free shops, and within the summer months the average transaction amount several times more than in spring.

Also, in summer the payments for education outside Ukraine grew by 1.5 times, as the new academic year is to begin soon.

[1] On 18 September 2006 PJSC “First Ukrainian International Bank” (FUIB) and its partner banks introduced their joint brand “Radius”. As at 1 April 2011 the united “Radius” network united 33 partner banks and consisted of 2463 ATMs all over Ukraine served by the FUIB’s Processing Centre. The source for this analytical report is the data on the transactions by 1.44 million active Visa International and MasterCard Worldwide branded cards served by the FUIB’s Processing Centre.

[2] Share of card payments in the total card transactions both within and outside Ukraine.

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