Leading the digital payments evolution in Ukraine

August 9, 2023 | By Yuriy Batkhin
Despite the ongoing war, Ukraine is embracing a strong digital evolution, making significant strides in the world of digital payments. At Mastercard, we are proud to support the country in this transformative journey and are implementing innovative technological solutions in the payment sector.

In Ukraine, digital payments have become mainstream with 60% of payments with Mastercard cards being made digitally today, a testament to the country's innovative spirit. This trend is not new, and it has been evolving considerably. For five years running, Ukraine has ranked among the top 10 countries worldwide at Mastercard by the number of NFC payments using digital cards.

The demand for digital payments is not just reflected in statistics, but also in consumer behavior. A study we conducted at the end of last year showed that every second Ukrainian made digital payments with gadgets during the war year, an 11% increase from the previous year.

We are not just observing these trends but actively contributing to them, providing Ukrainians with payment solutions to address their most pressing needs. One of the services that got its momentum last year is ‘Purchase with cash withdrawal’, which allows users to receive cash at checkout when paying with a card in a supermarket, fuel station, pharmacy etc. This service has been instrumental in meeting the demand of Ukrainians for cash during difficult periods, such as the first months of war or blackouts, when ATM capabilities were limited.

We are also focusing on card top-up at store checkouts, digital card issuance, and a new service for the market—partial approval or ‘combined payment’, which will allow users to split a purchase payment between two cards or combine card and cash payments. Click to Pay enablement on the market stands also among our priorities, aiming to provide customers with a convenient digital checkout.

Safety and security are a critical demand. In terms of payment security, the company is taking significant steps to ensure safety and maintain the trust of our customers. Over the last five years, Mastercard has acquired 18 companies specialized in preventing and countering cyberattacks.

Looking ahead, we foresee near-total tokenization of payments in the coming years. The evolution of online payment trends in Ukraine largely depends on the implementation of the Open Banking concept, which is expected to peak in 2025.

It is inspiring for us to see this remarkable adoption of digital payments in Ukraine, and we are committed to leading the country into a digital future, while providing support to our customers to enable best-in-class consumer journey. For more insights into our work and the future of digital payments in Ukraine, you can read my full interview here.

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Yuriy Batkhin, Vice President, Business Development, Ukraine and Moldova