National Bank of Ukraine initiates an overhaul of the NSMEP
Speaking at the international conference on "Payment forum", Ms. Inna Tiutiun, Deputy Director of General Department of Information Technologies and Payment Systems, said that the initiative to overhaul the National System of Mass Electronic Payments (hereinafter referred to as the NSMEP) was being implemented under the Strategic Program for the Expansion of Cashless Retail Payments in Ukraine for 2012 – 2014 approved by the Board of the National Bank of Ukraine. According to Ms. Inna Tiutiun, the overhaul involves the introduction of open international standards by the National Bank of Ukraine while creating the NSMEP routing directory, NSMEP clearing center, NSMEP processing center, as well as the introduction of international standards for chip cards.
On 1 June 2013, a four-month pilot project was launched as part of the initiative to overhaul the national payment system and in order to facilitate the interaction between the banks participating in the NSMEP and the NSMEP routing directory created by the National Bank of Ukraine.
The renovated NSMEP offers breakthrough solutions for the payments' market. The system provides for the creation of magnetic stripe cards and EMV-chip cards based on the open international standards. Special data protection technology will be deployed in online payments. Should NSMEP cards bear the international payment system logo, they might be used abroad in the future. "It is worthy of note that Ukrainian banks will incur no additional costs for adjusting point-of-sale (POS) terminals or automated teller machines (ATMs) so that they could accept NSMEP cards," emphasized Ms. Inna Tiutiun.
In order to process intrabank NSMEP card transactions, banks may use their own processing centers. If banks do not have their own processing centers, they may use the NBU processing center, which applies open international protocols and standards. "The pricing policy in the renovated NSMEP will be market-based and competition-based, which involves setting prices based on the prices offered by international payment systems," added Ms. Inna Tiutiun.
The NSMEP pilot project was launched in December 2000. On 19 July 2001, the first NSMEP payment card was issued. On 22 November 2004, the NSMEP was put into operation. The Strategic Program for the Expansion of Cashless Retail Payments in Ukraine for 2012 – 2014, which envisages the overhaul of the NSMEP and introduction of open standards to enhance the attractiveness of the system to banks and their clients, was approved on 14 June 2012.
As of today, the NSMEP comprises 58 banks and 9 non-banking institutions, including the Ukrainian state-owned enterprise of postal services "Ukrpost". Since the NSMEP was put into operation, over 3.5 million NSMEP payment cards and over 6 million "National cards" designed to pay compensation to depositors of the former USSR Savings Bank have been issued. Over this period, 6 thousand NSMEP ATM's and POS-terminals have been installed. Over 11 thousand POS-terminals accept "National cards".