United Settlement System
The United Settlement System, USS, consolidates the ATM networks, cash points and payment acceptance points exceeding 200 Russian credit organisations under a single trademark. To date, they generate in excess of 5 million transactions per month, there are more than 20 million USS-enabled debit and credit cards in circulation, over 40,000 ATMs have been installed and the association includes more than 4,000 branches and offices including international organisations.
Being a member of the United Settlement System, USS, enables banks:
- to considerably extend their cardholder service infrastructure and the geography of their customer base;
- to decrease or completely eliminate investment in terminal equipment (ATMs, self-service terminals, etc.) and the associated operation costs for installation and network support;
- to generate new additional income from their existing infrastructure due to the influx of customers from other USS bank participants.
The USS infrastructure supports the following operations:
- cash disbursement at ATMs, cash points (CP) and payment acceptance points (PAP);
- cash deposits to cardholder accounts at ATMs, CP and PAP;
- payment acceptance from card accounts at ATMs, CP and PAP;
- P2P cash transfers at ATMs, CP and PAP.
Interchange fees for transactions in the USS infrastructure are comparable with the net cost of serving cardholders in a bank’s internal network. This offers banks the capability to position the USS network for their own customers as the bank’s own network and to charge operation fees at the same rate as they would in their own infrastructure. This approach allows the significant reduction of the transaction load on their own office and terminal network.
Settlement calculations between system members are made by the USS which eliminates any credit risk for banks as the authorisation for any operation is only executed within the credit balance of the issuing banks.
The USS project has been approved by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and fully complies with the policy of the government aimed at the development of an accessible national payment infrastructure in the country.
Currently, two processing centers operate using USS: United Card Service and Compass Plus, which extends the capability for banks to choose a processing company for their integration to the USS.