03 August 2021

Japanese Government bought POS terminals as a part of the project of providing access to financial and banking services to people living in 472 hamlets with a population of less than 3000 inhabitants. It is the joint project of the Universal Postal Union and Ukrposhta. Ruslan Plashechnyk, the project manager from the Financial Business Department of the Ukrposhta and GNR.NXT 2020 graduate runs the project. He prepared the application package of the project as his graduation project of the program. 

Ruslan shared his experience with the GNR.NXT program and the project itself. 

- When I read on Facebook that MIM-Kyiv launches the online program that is supported by Garik Korogodsky I got interested. The online format addressed all the health-related concerns. Moreover, it made balancing work and studies easier. 

- How did the program help your personal development?

I learned a lot from top professors and speakers. It was a great combination of knowledge from the faculty and inspiration from the guest speakers. Many things that I thought I knew were presented from very different angles. That proves that you cannot know everything. 

- Tell us about your graduation project.

I am in charge of projects and programs at the Financial Business Department of the Ukrposhta. A postal bank is my most important project. Cooperation with the UPU especially in raising funds is a part of the Bank’s project. UPU provides information concerning funding opportunities. That’s how we learned about Japanese governmental grants for equipment procurement. We were lucky to buy POS terminals for rural areas. They gave access to people in the villages to banking and financial services. 

I learned about the grant when I was GNR.NXT program student. I applied all my new knowledge to drawing the application package. We were lucky to win. 

- Which problems did this project help to solve?

11 000 Ukrposhta branches provide financial services. Only 7 500 of them have POS terminals. We purchased 5 000 of them in 2018 and 2 500 now. We pulled our and grant resources together and got a better price. At the beginning of the project, we had thought that we could buy 330 – 350 terminals but managed to buy 472. 

- What makes the project valuable for businesses and the communities?

Our customers got local financial infrastructure. It is very important for those villages that do not have banking branches. They don’t need to spend time and money on going somewhere to withdraw cash. It also reduces the risks of infection. Those make the project socially relevant. Business-wise Ukrposhta proved to be a long-term reliable partner even when banks are closing their branches. We provide access to finance regardless of whether it is a city, a town, or a small village. 

MIM-Kyiv launched the GNR.NXT program amidst the first lockdown in 2020 when the whole world was in dire straits. Due to the technological expertise and resources, the school managed to move its programs and extra-curriculum activities online seamlessly without compromising the quality of learning.