Uzcard - national payment card
The beginning of the “Smart card-era” of Uzbekistan goes back to 1995. At that time the two largest financial institutions of the country, the National Bank of Foreign Economic Relation and the Savings Bank were confronted with serious problems in the processing and handling of clearing transactions. The existing methods proved to be outdated and inefficient – a technology shift was overdue.
The BGS SmartCard Payment Platform seemed to be the right choice as it not only provided retail payments based on smart cards but all kind of funds transfer in a very secure way throughout all the levels of the front- and back office. The BGS SmartCard Payment Platform represented a sophisticated bundle of software solutions for such tasks as the issuance of cards, protection of data, processing and settlement of payments as well as interbank settlement. The pilot project with 5,000 cards started in 1995 and was successfully developed and deployed in only three months.
The two leading financial institutions of Uzbekistan decided to profit from the opportunities of a shared payment ecosystem where all cards, terminals and transactions are based on the same rules and regulations and thus in 1996 the Savings Bank of Uzbekistan and the Association of Uzbek Banks joined the system and shortly thereafter founded an independent Issuing and Processing center as a trusted authority for the nationwide interbank settlement system.
In 1998 the next big financial institution, Asaka Bank, joined the system, which was by then more and more becoming the national payment system of the country, offering not only interbank and clearing settlements, but also various retail, service and salary payments. .Paxtabank, now Agrobank, UzPrivatBank and UzjilSberbank started to provide payment functions based on the successful BGS SmartCard Payment Platform in 2001 at which point the Uzcard had established itself as the de facto national electronic payment tool of Uzbekistan. By 2006 the BGS Card branded there as “Uzcard” had established itself as the national electronic payment tool of Uzbekistan”
Facts & Figures
As of January 1, 2015, 9,200,000 smart cards, 70,000 POS terminals are active in the system. The transaction turnover in 2013 was USD 950 million, compared to USD 450 million in 2008, which is an increase of 110%. In addition, As of today, the 25 leading banks of Uzbekistan are part of the national interbank payment system.