MINSK, 25 January (BelTA) – The National Bank of the Republic of Belarus and the international payment system Visa signed a memorandum of cooperation in enhancing financial literacy in Belarus, BelTA has learnt.
The National Bank is also gearing up to sign the similar memorandum with MasterCard. Representatives of this payment system have already visited the bank. The National Bank is open to cooperation with the international payment systems in other areas as well. In particular, the bank has showed its initiative in addressing the international payment system PayPal and asking for possible meeting and discussion of further cooperation.
The signing of the memorandum with Visa will let the country join the company’s global financial literacy initiatives. The document was signed by Deputy Chairman of the Board of the National Bank of Belarus Sergei Dubkov and Visa Executive Director for Asia Pacific, Central Europe, Middles East and Africa Rene Ho.
According to Natalia Shtevnina, Chief Counselor of the Chairman of the Board of the Group of Counselors of the National Bank, the document provides for several areas of cooperation. First of all, it is Visa’s participation in the events of the action plan on enhancing financial literacy in Belarus for 2013-2018. The action plan, approved by the Council of Ministers of the National Bank on 17 January 2013, defines the main areas and events to enhance financial literacy of the population within the next five years. The major goal of the plan is to mold the general financial culture in the country. Secondly, the memorandum envisages joint initiatives aimed at strengthening and enhancing the financial culture of the Belarusian people. Thirdly, it is an exchange of experience, knowledge and opinion on financial education gained by the National Bank and Visa Company at various seminars, conferences, business forums and other meetings.
The memorandum acts as a protocol of intent of both the parties and does not make an agreement of the advertising or financial kind, Natalia Shtevnina said.
“We believe that financial literacy is a guarantee of a healthy financial climate in any state. Visa invests efforts in improving financial literacy worldwide, including in Belarus. That is why we are happy to have this opportunity with our strategic partner, the National Bank,” Visa Country Manager for Belarus Igor Kovalev noted. In his words, the signing of the memorandum is a logic step in enhancing bilateral cooperation. The move confirms Visa’s commitment to the idea of developing financial awareness of the Belarusian people. “Among the areas of our cooperation is the work aimed at enhancing financial literacy of young people. In 2010 Visa jointly with the National Bank of Belarus, the Association of Belarusian Banks as well as a number of partner banks launched an educational game “Financial Football”. We believe this program to be very efficient in the work with young people,” Igor Kovalev said.
Others projects of Visa Company, which are scheduled for implementation within the memorandum, is to publish an educational manual “Financial Literacy”, designed for the use at schools and universities, a research tool for media publications, social studies.
Visa releases its annual Global Financial Literacy Barometer to provide an insight into the personal finance strengths and weaknesses of nations worldwide. Belarus considerably surpasses its neighboring countries in this rating. “Thus, among 28 countries on the list Belarus is 9th while Russia and Ukraine go 19th and 21st respectively,” Igor Kovalev noted. Belarus provides good showings in the cashless payment sector, the number of issued cards, and, what is more important, the frequency of their use, he added.
Visa is a global payment system that provides access to electronic funds transfers for credit card holders, trading and service companies, financial and state-run establishments in more than 200 countries.