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Payments with the card shatter the shadow economy

2017.12.05 Economie Victor Ursu Print version

If in the five years since the appearance of the bank card (1997) in Moldova the financial turnover was insignificant after ten years, the volume of operations reached 8 billion lei. Mostly, it was used as a means of removing money from the ATM. But in the last three years, there is an increase in geometric progression by 50%, annually, of card payments. Thus, if in 2015 payments with the card amounted to 2.3 billion lei, in 2016 - 3.3 billion lei, then this year we are approaching 5 billion lei. Increasing card payments will reduce the informal economy. This is the opinion expressed by the IDIS Viitorul economist Veaceslav Ioniţă during the "15 minutes of economic realism" show.

In 20 years, the number of card payments amounted to 15.6 billion lei, of which more than half were made in 2016, 2017. One of the hypotheses is the liberalization of the visa regime which has led to the intensification of travels in Europe where Moldovans have learned that it is very easy to make the card payments.

Although there is an exponential increase in electronic payments, they remain at a fairly low level compared to those in the EU where the share is 20%. If the pace of growth is maintained then within five years the Republic of Moldova will reach the European average.

"This year, Moldovans will pay for goods and services in cash in the amount of 110 billion lei, and the payments with the card will reach 4%. There are still 25 billion ROL - the unseen economy, the payments people make when they go to the market. Moreover, this year, Moldovans will withdraw 40 billion lei from ATMs, if this money would have been used to pay for goods and services then banks would charge fees equivalent to 800 million lei. But the citizens' tradition of cashing out and cashing in and making cash payments causes bank failures", said Ionita.

At the same time, banks will collect from the agents 100 million lei from the payments that Moldovans pay with the card due to the average commission of 2% that the business has to pay for electronic payments.

In conclusion, the economist IDIS Viitorul said that the state would also benefit from card payments because it would reduce the informal economy. The authorities would see all the transactions that took place. Currently, the informal economy has a share of 17.8% compared to 19.6% in 2014.

The show is made by IDIS "Viitorul" in partnership with Radio Free Europe.

For more details, contact the Public Relations Coordinator IDIS "Viitorul", Victor URSU at or call 069017396.

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