Digital Cards Implementation


Adverse changes in the environment due to human activities are one of the most difficult issues we face today. The global crisis caused by COVID-19 demonstrated that by responding to a threat, consumers can and will do major changes in their behavior in the pursuit of proximity, convenience and consciousness. Customers also expect a high level of responsibility from the companies they interact with and steps towards achieving the common good.

Plastic cards, their packaging and the pollution linked to their logistics are a significant source of carbon emissions and debris. According to the Nilson Report, there are on average 3 bank cards per person in the world, while in 2020 alone, 5 billion cards were issued in the world. And while a card seems to have very little impact on ecosystems compared to other items of everyday use, the magnitude of the impact is impressive worldwide. If we take into account that 1 card weighs 5 grams, then last year the world produced 25 thousand tons of material, which must be properly disposed over time. In addition, cards with chips contain glass and metal on top to plastic, which significantly complicates recycling and makes it inefficient.

In addition, to obtain a traditional bank card, a customer must come to a bank branch in person. We at PrivatBank highly value our customers and know that sometimes cards expire at the most inappropriate moment, and there is always not enough time to visit a branch. Issuing or re-issuing cards became especially pressing during the pandemic, when the limitations for public transportation and the rules of physical distancing were introduced. Our commitment is to do our best not to endanger our customers.



According to a study conducted by Mastercard in 24 countries around the world in the spring of 2021, people became more attentive to the environmental issues. Reducing waste (37%), air and water pollution (35%), and solving the problem of plastic pollution from packaging and products (35%) are the three main issues that companies and brands should focus on, according to consumers.

Banks around the world are aware of their environmental footprint, and undoubtedly calculate the direct and indirect costs of each action. Care for the environment is not something new for PrivatBank. We utilize responsibly all resources across our operations and care to preserve the world for future generations. For several years in a raw, our ATMs have been offering customers to refuse to print checks after transactions, and the bank has introduced a paperless internal document management system.

Therefore, in PrivatBank – the largest and most innovative bank in Ukraine – the idea of introducing digital cards appeared organically and was initiated by the bank’s employees, taking into account environmental factors and responding to the needs of customers who expect fast and easy solutions. Digital cards are the same cards, but more convenient, because a customer needs only a favorite gadget to pay for an item or service.

We believe that by offering contactless payment methods through the mobile application, banks can not only reduce the carbon footprint of their cards and help fight climate change, but also become more flexible and convenient for their customers.

Of course, this also requires some commitment from customers. The transition to a digital card contributes also to decreasing of cash circulation, which has its significantly greater benefits for the environment. Banking is one of the industries in which it is easier than ever to become “green”. In addition, non-cash payment systems are generally faster and more efficient. Modern technology means that people are no longer limited to ATMs and nearby branches.




As any other innovation, PrivatBank’s offer to switch to digital cards was not immediately accepted by customers. We have implemented an education campaign and continue to explain and pursue our customers for the change in our social networks’ accounts, radio, the Privat24 app and website, ATMs and TCO screens, as well as in individual consultations in the branches.

Moreover, to encourage the Bank’s clients to choose the digital card, two promos were implemented jointly with the Bank’s partner – Visa. Within the first promo, those who registered for a digital card, could apply for up to 6 months of free music from Apple Music. The second promo “Make our Planet a Greener Place” had 20 winners who were offered to plant their personal trees on the grounds of “Dobropark” landscape park near Kyiv.

Thanks to this education, in two years since the project start PrivatBank issued 1 167 505 digital instead of plastic cards, which, multiplied by 5 grams, mean that 5 837 kg (or nearly 6 tons) of plastic was not produced and released to appear in the landfills in the near future.


Educational video: 

Promo video: 

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