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For the first time in Bulgaria Unicredit Bulbank and Visa Europe launch V PAY – the chip enabled debit card

V PAY offers the card holders with the highest level of security, together with modern design

Unicredit Bulbank and Visa Europe launch the first debit card in Bulgaria, which stores the financial data of the cardholder on the chip, making V PAY the safest debit card issued in Bulgaria.


V PAY is already issued in 3 countries - banks in Italy, Germany and France have issued almost 1 million cards.  “V PAY has been developed specifically for European banks to enable them to offer their customers a secure and convenient way of managing their finances" said Nicolas Ancot, Visa Europe VP, V PAY Marketing.


"In our modern economy cash is an inefficient means of handling transactions and V PAY is definitely the way forward. We have commitment from banks of over 40 million V PAY cards, which demonstrates that there is a need and demand for this type of product and we are very proud and exited to be launching in Bulgaria" he added.


“It is a pleasure for UniCredit Bulbank to be the first bank-partner of Visa Europe to offer V PAY. Again, according to our data, the largest part of the cardholders, over 70%, use debit cards. As much as the debit card range is filled in, the most important are the product characteristics. In this respect the safety and convenience of V PAY have unquestionable advantage”, said Levon Hampartzoumian, CEO and Chairman of the MB of UniCredit Bulbank.


„The transactions with V PAY are always chip and PIN based, which gives our clients the highest level of security, which means that the possibility for copying data from the card virtually impossible”, says Slavka Valkova, Head of Cards Business of UniCredit Bulbank and chairman of the executive committee of the banks-members of Visa Europe in Bulgaria. She explained that V PAY is the first card, issued by a Bulgarian bank, in which the magnetic band serves only for opening the card reader of the ATMs while the financial data is stored on the chip only.


V PAY offers uncompromising security at ATM’s and shopping usage and for internet purchases as well – by the system Verified by Visa.In addition, UniCredit Bulbank offers SMS notification for each transaction.


V PAY could be issued in three currencies – lev, euro and dollars and it could be used at the ATM’s and POS in the whole Europe. It means that the V PAY cardholders could easily operate at 295 000 ATM’s and at 5.8 trade centers.  


Recently, the UniCredit Bulbank cards have been exempt of taxes in usage at UniCredit Group ATM’s in 16 European countries.   

V PAY are used with 2 years validity, exempt of issue and re-issue fee and with no monthly fee. The monthly interest on the card amount is 1%.
Besides the competitive conditions, V PAY is distinctive with a modern design – half-transparent plastic, unique in Bulgaria.  

„UniCredit Group surveys show, that there is large increase of the cardholders number in the country for the last 3 years – from 21% to 32% of the population. There is an array of debit cards on the market, from which the clients can choose, therefore they select the ones with the best safety, functionality and usability. This is why, together with Visa we have launched V PAY, which offers great advantages to our clients, says Valkova.

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About Visa Europe 
In Europe, there are over 350 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards. In the 12 months ending December 2007, those cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the value of over €1.3 trillion. 11.4% of consumer spending at point of sale in Europe is with a Visa card.

Visa Europe is a membership association - an organisation owned and operated by its 4,600 European member banks – that was incorporated in July 2004. In October 2007, Visa Europe became independent of the new global Visa Inc., with an exclusive, irrevocable and perpetual license in Europe.

As a dedicated European payment system it is able to respond quickly to the specific market needs of European banks and their customers – cardholders and retailers, and to meet the European Commission’s objective to create a true internal market for payments.

Visa enjoys unsurpassed acceptance around the world. In addition, Visa/PLUS is one of the world’s largest global ATM networks, offering cash access in local currency in over 170 countries.

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