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Euro conversion in the banking sector in Slovakia is proceeding successfully

Slovak Republic has today, on January 1, 2009, adopted the common European currency. Conversion of the systems in the banking sector is proceeding smoothly and there have been no unforeseen situations so far.

The ATM network in Slovakia was fully functional and able to issue euro banknotes today at 2.00 hours. From 2258 ATMs in Slovakia 99.7% were functional and issuing Slovak korunas on 31 December 2008. 95% of ATMs had cassettes with both Slovak korunas and euros, additional 1% of ATMs had euro cassettes only, so their conversion was possible without physical changes on the ATM. The ATM conversion has started at 21.00 on 31 December 2008 and has finished at 2.00 on. 1. January 2009.

28% ATMs were fully functional in euros one minute after midnight on 1 January 2009, 80% ATMs were converted by 0.30 and 94% ATMs by 2.00 h. At 8.00 96% ATMs were converted and were issuing euros.

Similarly the POS network was fully functional in standard regime today at 2.00. There are 32 107 POS terminals in Slovakia and domestic banks have issued 5.2 mil. payment cards, which the citizens can now use for payments or cash withdrawals.

Bank clients can use the branch network of banks during 1-4 January 2009 especially for cash exchange of korunas for euros. Of 1054 bank branches today on January 1, 2009 45% of bank branches were open for clients and during the weekend of 3-4 January 32% of branches will be open (2 January is a normal working day and the branches will be open in standard time).

According to a survey published today by the European Commission, majority of Slovak inhabitants possessed euro cash already two days before the euro changeover. 49% respondents had euro banknotes and 60% had euro coins. The citizens have acquired euro banknotes mostly abroad or exchanged in banks, the main source of coins were starter kits. 40% of Slovak citizens have bought a starter kit, which could be bought until December 31, 2008. Národná banka Slovenska and banks have sold in total 1 320 000 starter kits.

Národná banka Slovenska has acquired 188 mil. euro banknotes and 500 mil. euro coins for the changeover. Banks could be frontloaded since October 2008 with banknotes and with coins since September. 16 banks were frontloaded with 51 mil. pieces of banknotes, mostly € 5 and € 10, and 283 mil. pieces of euro coins. The frontloading of banks was successfully completed on December 29, 2008. Almost 14 000 bank clients used sub-frontloading arrangements. Businesses were sub-frontloaded between 28. October and 31 December with over 14 mil. banknotes and 195 mil. euro coins, what represents 28% of banknote frontloading and 69% of coin frontloading.

The conversion of information systems in the Národná banka Slovenska has started as planned in the evening of 31 December 2008. The conversion is planned to be finished in the evening of 1 January 2008. There have been no unforeseen circumstances so far and the conversion is proceeding exactly according to the plan. There are 16 information systems in the NBS that have to be converted to the euro, of these 10 systems are significant for the basic functions of the bank (e.g. the domestic payment system SIPS or the www server NBS). Additional two systems (STATUS a STATUS DFT) were running a „euro-ready” version for several weeks already. The Register of bank loans and guarantees is planned to be converted on 15 January 2009.

Národná banka Slovenska recalls that the inhabitants of Slovakia can pay with koruna banknotes and coins, besides euros, until the end of dual circulation period on January 16, 2009. Euro cash can be obtained by the following means:

  • – ATM withdrawal,
  • – free cash exchange of korunas for euros in banks,
  • – withdrawal of cash from a bank account – withdrawal of pension or salary,
  • – change given in shops during dual circulation period.

Conversion of ATMs between 31.12.2008 and 1.1.2009 – share of ready ATMs

Share of ready ATMs between 31.12.2008 and 1.1.2009

Conversion of POS terminals between 31.12.2008 and 1.1.2009 – share of ready POS terminals

Share of ready POS terminals between 31.12.2008 and 1.1.2009

Jana Kováčová
NBS spokesperson

National Bank of Slovakia
Communications Section
Imricha Karvasa 1, 813 25 Bratislava, Slovak Republic
Tel.: +421-2-5787 2161,+421-2-5865 2161, +421-2-5787 2166, 421-2-5865 2166

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