Monday, 24 May 2010

Payment revolution? No, thanks!

Nobody can be surprised by a plastic card in Uzbekistan today. But it is still surprising that plastic cards here is a way of making people’s life more complicated, rather than easier.

Normally people look for places where they can buy something they like, but here in Tashkent it’s quite usual to look for a shop where one can pay by a credit card. Some shops do even have a sign on their doors “We accept plastic cards”.

However, as to purchasing of bigger things such as furniture, TV set, microwave, etc. it is much cheaper to buy them in cash.  We don’t have shopping malls here in Tashkent, but there is a long street where hundreds of small shops selling household appliances and equipment are located. And no one of these shops is ready to accept payment by transfer or credit card yet. Of course it’s possible to find companies working not only with cash. But prices are different if one pays by cash and credit card. For instance, a refrigerator in one of the shops costs 1,4 Million UZS (about 700USD) if paid by “real money” and over 2 Million UZS (approximately 1 000 USD) if one wants to pay by credit card. I wonder if there is anyone using the second method of payment...

And what absolutely funny and at the same time stupid about the entire story with plastic cards is that all of them have standard PINs: either 1 or 2! Only one figure! That’s all. Of course you can ask your bank to change the code, but does it really matter, if a seller does not ask you to enter your pin, but says loudly: “What is your pin-code?”

Thus, now you know what to do if you find a plastic card in Tashkent…


  1. Amazing!
    Are all mistrustful regarding plastic money, maybe?

  2. BTW, it is also problematic to get cash: one can withdraw a limited sum of money (about 15-20USD)at once, and it's quite usual that there is no cach in ATMs and banks