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Traveler's checks are out of fashion

Traveler's checks are out of fashionAmerican Express (AMEX) lost to Russia's largest network of sales and service for their checks. From March 1 to work with them in the 6 th of its branches terminate Sberbank. And while the company is still eight partner banks for checks in Russia, their combined network of branches in times less. Savings example could be followed by other players: the development of card technologies demand for traveler's checks have fallen markedly.

Sberbank announced that from March 1, stops all the operations with traveler's checks American Express: for sale, purchase, issue of compensation for the lost checks and probate to them. "This is a trend of Savings improve product offerings and optimizing the product range", - the press-service of the Savings Bank, noting that cooperation with American Express on card products (Savings brand cards American Express from 2010) will continue.

Traveler's check - payment document, a financial obligation of the issuer to pay the amount indicated in the check owner - natural person whose specimen signature is placed on the check at the time of sale. In Russia, traveler's checks sold and cashed in banks. Buy and sell as they can for rubles, and for the currency of the check. One of the main advantages of checks is that in the event of theft, loss or damage to the commitments they can be restored in full, even if you are in another country. When going abroad to declare travelers checks only required if the amount exceeds $ 10 thousand

Savings works with American Express traveler's checks for almost 20 years - since 1994. Currently, the operation is carried out with about 6 million (more than 18 thousand) units of Sberbank. The volume of transactions on the American Express traveler's checks in the Savings Bank did not disclose. However, in 2007-2008, Sberbank in their reports indicated that at that time was the world leader in terms of sales. In 2008, sales of American Express traveler's checks Savings Bank exceeded $ 1 billion in American Express on Friday declined to comment on the refusal of Russia's largest partner to work with traveler's checks of the company. The question of the total number of vouchers sold by Russian banks and turns to him also remained unanswered.

According to the Russian website American Express, except the Savings Bank operations with traveler's checks companies conduct nine banks: Bank of Moscow, "Maritime" Gazprombank, Far East Bank, Masterbank, Primsotsbank, Raiffeisen Bank, Communications Bank and VTB 24. However, as the survey of banks conducted by "b", this information is somewhat outdated. As it turned out, the second largest network (690 points) AMEX partner for checks in Russia - VTB 24 - terminated its cooperation in this area even before the Savings Bank. Check operations of VTB 24 is held from February 1, 2012, due to low customer demand, the bank said. Other partners AMEX-cooperation by check until the refuse, but their combined network (1,193 branches) is much lower than that provided by the Company Sberbank.

Cause of traveler's checks in the popularity is simple - this payment instrument virtually obsolete and no demand from the population. "We are seeing lower demand for traveler's checks, which can be attributed to the extensive development popularity plastic cards," - said "b" in the Bank of Moscow. "The demand for checks is actually reduced largely due to the increasing popularity of non-cash payments on credit cards and the development of the network of their reception, - notes and head of retail products and the development of client relationships Raiffeisenbank Alex Kapustin. - Customers increasingly use cards for everyday purchases and, and the transport of currency when traveling abroad, as a result of the past three years, sales of American Express checks were reduced on average by 20% a year. " Volumes sold and bought checks in 2012 compared to 2011 decreased, the press service of the Communication Bank. So, for 2011, the bank sold the 856 and bought 323 of the check, in 2012 - 169 and 218 checks respectively.

Another reason for the significant drop in popularity among Russians travelers checks market players consider the increasing loyalty of the embassies of other countries in the pay checks of citizens who have applied for visas. "Previously many embassies require confirmation is in the form of traveler's checks, now just take statements from the bank - said one of the sources" b. "- In the end, the need to purchase vouchers from citizens has decreased significantly." It is not surprising that under these circumstances the example of Sberbank and VTB 24 may be followed by other players. Such intentions have already confirmed "b" on the condition of anonymity, some of the partners AMEX.

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