Seyran Sargsyan: UBPAY Armenian payment system offers secure and fast money transfers

11.06.2024 | 23:07 Home / News / Interviews /
#UBPAY
In February of this year, the Central Bank of Armenia granted Unibank permission to create and operate the UBPAY Armenian payment and settlement system for money transfers. Seyran Sargsyan, CEO of UBPAY, spoke about the creation and purpose of the new system in an interview with Banks.am.

- Mr. Sargsyan, what was the basis for the decision to create the UBPAY Armenian   system for money transfers?

- In recent years, the volume of individual money transfers has shown significant growth. This trend is also evident in Armenia, with the demand for fast money transfers increasing continuously. Understanding the importance of money transfers  for our country’s economy, it was important to establish an Armenian payment and settlement system that enables fast and affordable transfers in directions that are interesting to our citizens.

With over 20 years of successful experience in providing payment and settlement services, and having joined various local and international systems, organizing processes, Unibank has accumulated professional and technological potential. Considering this factors, it was decided to create an Armenian system that realizes fast, safe and affordable money transfers.

- In which directions will the new system work, and what preparatory work has been done?

- One of our priorities is to increase the number of system participants and partners. Currently, several Armenian banks and settlement organizations have already joined the system. At the end of May, we began cooperating with KWIKPAY international money transfer system. This cooperation made it possible to expand geography and make money transfers to Cyprus, Greece, Serbia, Israel, the UAE, Moldova, Russia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Georgia.

Seyran Sargsyan


Countries are selected based on demand. Naturally, we will include all those countries with a large Armenian diaspora. We are also considering countries that have significant potential to increase the volume of transfers in the future.

Another crucial aspect of our work involves application of technological solutions related to transfers and expansion of functions and opportunities for partners and customers. The system is built on modern technological solutions. We offer easy integration to partners via API. In the future, the UBPAY system will also have its own mobile application.

- Please provide the range of UBPAY consumers.

- The UBPAY system is designed for both resident and non-resident individuals. According to global surveys, around 90% of financial transfers are made to support families or friends. I believe the same is for Armenia. Migrant workers comprise a significant portion of fast money transfer users. Statistics show that the number of men making transfers is twice more than of the women.

- How competitive will the terms of using UBPAY be?

- There are several important indicators in the financial sector. The first is speed, which is crucial in the transfer system. The funds will be available to the recipient immediately after the transfer.

Another key factor is ensuring security. The technological solutions used by the system meet international standards and norms.

Seyran Sargsyan


Another is affordability. Transfers in our system can be made today with commission starting at 0%. Our tariff policy will always be competitive.

Convenience is also a significant factor. Customers can make transfers in cash, without opening a bank account, and these funds can be provided to another individual in cash or by transferring to their bank account or payment card account. Transfers can also be made non-cash, from an individual’s bank or card account to another individual’s card or bank account. The UBPAY system also allows money transfers via phone number. Member banks of the system can also apply UBPAY transfers within their mobile applications.

- What strategy have you adopted for the development of UBPAY? At the same time, what trends can you identify in the field of money transfers today?

- In the near future, we will significantly expand the geography of the system and the network of partners. Statistics show that most transfers come from Russia, the USA, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, a number of EU countries and the UAE, which is also a developing destination. We are also exploring destinations with the potential to increase the flow of remittances to Armenia, including China and India.

Money transfers are a serious source of ensuring the well-being of citizens and play a crucial role in the economic development. In 2022, for the first time in the world, the volume of remittances of individuals in low- and middle-income countries exceeded the volume of direct financial support to these countries. In 2023, a total of 5.7 billion drams were transferred to our country, and more than 4 billion were sent from Armenia abroad.

Arpy Jilavyan

Photos: Emin Aristakesyan
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