NOMAD Software, the leading UK card payment solution provider has partnered with three major Romanian banks to assist with the smooth transition of the countryâs currency the Lei (ROL) to the new Lei (RON) currency. With just two days designated as non-banking days to support the transition, NOMAD Software worked closely alongside ING, Banca Romana Pentru Dezvoltare (BRD) and BancPost Romania to ensure that their card payment systems, ATM and POS networks would operate normally with the new currency.
John Yeomans, CEO of NOMAD Software commented: "This project was a delicate undertaking in a market where the cardholder landscape has changed dramatically. In fact, Romania has the highest card market growth rate in Central and Eastern Europe, with the number of card users expected to grow by approximately 50% this year. With 4,000 ATM and 20,000 POS units in the region, it was vital that card holders were able to obtain the new currency from ATMs, check their bank balance at terminals and purchase items at POS units on the change-over day."
Of the three banks implementing NOMAD CORTEX, ING was the first to re-denominate all of their cards and accounts â effectively processing in RON one day ahead of the change-over. The transition went very smoothly and business carried on as usual.
BRD was next. John Yeomans, added: "When our implementation team arrived onsite, they learnt that the âgo liveâ deadline had been brought forward by 18 hours, and that the bank had invited the Romanian President, the Romanian Prime Minister, the Governor of the National Bank of Romania, and the Romanian press to the BRD Tower. A media call had been arranged so that the President could take the first RON notes out of an ATM at 00:00:01 on the first date of the change-over. This process went smoothly."
At BancPost Romania, an organisation which operates the third largest ATM network in Romania, the system was up and running without any problems.
Ben Geels, Executive Director Retail Banking, ING said: "NOMADâs role in this process has made the transition from ROL to RON simple and painless. NOMADâs active participation and competence has enabled the bank to become one of the first in Romania to successfully enter into the new currency era."
As Romania has been accepted for EU entry in 2007, the country needed to take steps to modernise its payment system in the interim. The reason for re-denomination was because the RON had become severely devalued, especially in the 1990s due to high inflation rates. From 2002 onward the currency stabilised and has even appreciated against the Euro and the US dollar in the past year. Therefore, the new RON was introduced to simplify the national currency, and also as a symbol of Romaniaâs increasing economic stability. It is also designed to help pave the way for the adoption of the Euro by Romania which is expected in 2012-2014.