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MOSCOW, August 20 (Itar-Tass) — Russian Post’s offices in 25 Russian regions have started issuing multifunctional plastic cards that can be used to pay for purchases, repay loans, put money on one’s account, pay utility bills or pay for online postal services.
The cards to be issued by Russian Standard Bank can also be used to keep one’s salary, pension or social allowances on them.
A person can get a card for free in any post office. Its holder will be able to withdraw up to 50,000 roubles a day from his account at post offices provided with proper ATMs or at any bank.
Russian Post’s Financial Services Director Vyacheslav Avdyukov said that initially it would be a debit card with an interest of 10 percent per annum. But in the future its holder will be able to use as a credit card.
The project was launched in May 2012 in eight Russian regions: Krasnoyarsk Territory, Nizhny Novgorod, Perm, Saratov, Tver, Tomsk, Orel and Ufa.
“The pilot project showed that the card proved needed by Russian Post clients and the company decided to extend it to the rest of the country,” Russian Post said on Monday, August 20.
In August, the cards will be issued in Arkhangelsk, Vologda, Voronezh, Vladimir, Irkutsk, Kaliningrad, Kursk, Leningrad, Moscow, Samara, Sverdlovsk, Omsk, Rostov, Chelyabinsk, Yaroslavl regions, Karelia, Mari-El, Mordovia, Tatarstan, Udmurtia, Chuvashia, Altai, Krasnodar and Primorsky Territories, and the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Area.
“The service will gradually be available across the country before the end of the year,” the company’s press service said.
Russian Post has 86 branches, about 42,000 facilities that render postal services across the country, including all cities and rural settlements. Russian Post employs about 380,000 people. Every year Russian Post accepts, processes and delivers more than 1.5 billion letters, 48 million parcels and 113 million mailings.
Russian Post offers more than 80 postal, financial, information and communication and other services. Post offices deliver pensions, grants and periodicals to subscribers. Post offices accept payments for utility bills, issue loans, cash credit cards, issue insurance policies, sell lottery, railway, air and theatre tickets, and also consumer goods. They also offer access to the Internet.
Russian Post is a founding member of the Universal Postal Union created in 1874. In 1902 Chief Postal Service was made part of the Internal Affairs Ministry and it became part of the Ministry of Post and Telegraph in 1917 under the Provisional Government.
During the Great Patriotic War Soviet postal service - a part of People' s Commissariat of Communications - was delivering up to 70 million mails per month to the Soviet army front from the rear under extremely difficult and often very dangerous conditions.
In 1993, Russian Post became a part of the Ministry of Communications and in 2002 its status changed from a government ministry to a unitary enterprise as part of the reform of federal postal communication agencies. The company's headquarters are located in Moscow.