Since the war broke out, the National Bank of Ukraine has recommended that retail businesses provide the Ukrainian people with a possibility to make cash withdrawals at retail chains and shops to meet households’ demand for cash. Banks and payment systems have been actively supporting the initiative. Currently, over a thousand of retail businesses around Ukraine are ready to pay out cash from payment cards. According to the information available to the NBU, the number of POS terminals that offer this option is no less than 35,000.
The NBU estimates that cashiers paid out about UAH 3.8 billion in cashbacks in March 2022. Overall, about 2.7 million of such card-based transactions were made in March. The average transaction value amounted to about UAH 1,400. This means that around 88,000 transactions worth over UAH 124 million were processed on an average day in March.
Twenty five Ukrainian banks that issue payment cards have been providing this service to their clients. At the same time, six acquirers have customized their POS-terminals to carry out said transactions. Those include: Raiffeisen Bank Aval JSC, CB PrivatBank JSC, Oschadbank JSC, Pivdennyi Bank JSC, ALFA-BANK JSC, and BANK VOSTOK PJSC.
Most frequently, Ukrainians withdrew cash when making payments in big retail networks, such as ATB, Silpo, VARUS, Fora, FOZZY, and NOVUS. Cash withdrawals were also actively made in pharmacy chains and gas stations.
Since the martial law was imposed, the number of retail businesses that introduced the service for their customers has been growing steadily.
At the same time, the volume and number of such transactions declined as of the end of March. Over 61,000 of such transactions, worth almost UAH 90 million, were made on a given day over the last week, on average.
“Obviously, the war has made it much more difficult to provide cash collection services in the territories where the life and health of bank employees are under threat. Therefore, we are very grateful to retail businesses, gas stations, pharmacies, and service providers that, in close cooperation with banks and payment systems, offer their customers the vital ability to get their cash back when checking out. By giving Ukrainians free access to their funds during martial law, they are carrying out an additional social mission. In addition, the average amount on the receipt and the declining daily volumes of such transactions prove that the active implementation of this capability and the satisfaction of customer demand for cash hryvnias have been timely,” said NBU Deputy Governor Oleksii Shaban.
As previously reported, Ukrainians who urgently need cash can withdraw it from retail businesses across the country. To do this, they need to pay for any purchase with their card and ask a cashier to give the desired amount of cash back. They can withdraw between UAH 500 and UAH 6,000, depending on the retail outlet they are being serviced at. This service is being provided by banks in cooperation with payment systems and retail businesses (shops, gas stations, pharmacies, etc.).