BANK CARDS - Industry Briefs

  • 2007-10-24
September 5: The number of bank cards issued by Estonian banks tops the 1.7 million mark. By the end of August, the major Estonian banks had issued 1,710,725 bankcards, of which 1,276,058 were debit and 434,667 credit cards. Compared with the end of July the number of debit cards increased by 8,357 and of credit cards by 6,242. The largest issuers were Hansapank, with a total of 1,125,311 cards out, and SEB Eesti Uhispank with 450,961.

July 25: Hansabankas, Lithuania's second-biggest bank in terms of assets, started distributing two types of chip-enabled cards, a Maestro debit card and a Mastercard credit card. Hansabankas said in a statement that it had been authorized by Mastercard International to distribute the chip cards following a certification process.

The bank is in the process of replacing magnetic-stripe cards with chip cards, which require the use of a PIN at points-of-sale and are more secure. Ramunas Strauka, director of the bank's Electronic Banking Department, said the bank expected that all of its newly-issued cards would be chip-enabled by the end of the year.