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SberBank Offers Metro Passes to Debit Card Holders
19.03.2012 11:38
SberBank Offers Metro Passes to Debit Card Holders
SberBank debit cards can be used as metro passes in Moscow

SberBank of Russia has joined a host of other banks in providing Moscow citizens and workers with underground access. Along with Bank Avangard, Moscow Credit Bank, Alpha Bank, and others SberBank now allows its debit card holders to use the bank card as a metro pass.

      According to spokepersons from participating banks, there is no fear of competition, due to clients' loyalty. In most cases, the card is used to receive a salary, hence there is no benefit in switching over to SberBank. The latter has decided to test the new service on their debit card holders first; if successful, the service will be extended to involve all clients.

      In total, 21 banks provide metro pass service for their clients. The first was the Bank of Moscow, a sister company of VTB Bank, that has been in partnership with the Moscow Underground since 2006; they provide underground access to 93 thousand card holders. The client base of SberBank debit card holders is nearly 9mln.

      The opportunity for passengers to use their debit cards has been dictated by the problems caused by the enormously high average daily  footfall - nearly 8mln people use the Moscow Underground every day. To avoid long queues for underground passes, it was decided in 2006 to pilot the access via bank cards.

      SberBank has further plans to streamline the passenger access to public transport in Moscow. A scheme similar to that of the Moscow Metro may allow the bank's clients to use the card as a bus pass. The Bank of Moscow has long been planning to introduce this service, too. The process is stalled by the Moscow City Government that is working on developing a unified electronic card that will serve as an identity card, a transport pass, a bank card, and provide several other options. The banks, however, are unlikely to wait until the city authorities and will start providing a facilitated access to the under- and overground transport and local trains in the near future.

      Source: RBC.



Author: Julia Shuvalova

Tags: Russian banks Russian metro Moscow SberBank  

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