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WorldAsiaKyrgyz still prefer "cash" in everyday settlements - Rossiyskaya Gazeta

Kyrgyz still prefer “cash” in everyday settlements – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The National Bank document, which the correspondent of “RG” got acquainted with, contains a lot of interesting things, but the most interesting are the figures and facts that testify to how cashless payment systems have developed in Kyrgyzstan over the past 20 years. This is stated in the post.

The reform, the purpose of which was to create modern payment systems in the republic, began in 2003. Already five years later, a batch clearing system for small retail and regular payments was operating in the Kyrgyz Republic; a single interbank processing center that provides payments for goods and services, as well as the implementation of payroll projects through the use of the national payment card “Elkart”; a gross system designed for the rapid and final settlement of financial market transactions and other large and urgent payments.
In the future, as pointed out by the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic, measures have been taken from the adopted state program to establish a balanced ratio of monetary and non-monetary circulation in Kyrgyzstan. By 2022, the following results have been achieved: employees of all budget organizations receive salaries on the national Elkart card to process and exclude the transfer of personal information abroad; social assistance by bank cards is provided to more than 360,000 people and pensions to around 550,000; 387 departments of the state enterprise “Kyrgyz pochtasy” installed equipment for making payments for utilities and other services.

“Since 2018, the population of the republic has had the possibility of withdrawing money from payment cards at checkouts in shops. This service quickly allows bank card holders to access money and increases the number of customers and their purchases. Currently, four commercial banks are implementing a project for the withdrawal of cash by card from the cash desks of 89 commercial and service enterprises located in the regions of the Kyrgyz Republic,” the National Bank said in a statement.

“In order to expand the infrastructure, in April 2018, a law was adopted amending the Tax Code, providing for exemption from VAT when importing banking equipment into the territory of the republic. From 2018 to 2022, 971 ATMs, 12,538 point-of-sale terminals, 1,622 payment terminals At the end of 2022, the number of payment terminals installed in trade and service companies reached 13,744, while at the beginning of 2018 this figure was 6646,” notes the National Bank.

At the same time, the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic emphasizes the fact that, despite the wide choice of payment systems in the country, the share of “non-cash” in the total turnover of the money supply is much more lower than in the developed countries of the world, where this figure reaches 80 to 90%.

According to the National Bank, as of January 1, 2022, a balance ratio between cash and non-cash currency circulation has been reached in Kyrgyzstan. This indicates that about half of the finances of the economy have been concentrated in the banking sector.
But, according to the National Bank, the share of non-cash payments in the country is still at a low level. Yes, last year around 130 million transactions worth 525 billion soms were made using bank cards. However, in most cases, these were cash withdrawals. According to the National Bank, there are 28 card payments per adult in Kyrgyzstan per year, while in other countries, such as Russia, this figure reaches 300.

This fact indicates that the Kyrgyz people still prefer “live” banknotes in everyday establishments. The new state program, which is currently going through the stage of coordination in state bodies, as they hope in the National Bank, will change the situation.


Currently, according to the National Statistics Committee of the Kyrgyz Republic, there are 23 commercial banks in the country, 14 of which are foreign-owned. There are 326 bank branches in the regions of the Kyrgyz Republic. The number of employees employed in this area is about 18.5 thousand people, the number of bank customer accounts exceeds eight million.

The average monthly salary of employees in the banking sector in 2022 amounted to 50.3 thousand soms, an increase of 21% compared to the previous year.

The income of financial and credit institutions in 2022 reached 93, and expenditure – 58 billion som. At the end of 2022, the National Bank of the Kyrgyz Republic and 22 commercial banks made a profit. The total assets of the banking sector of the Kyrgyz Republic at the end of 2022 amounted to 877.2 billion soms.

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