In Business This Week
RUSSIAN BANKS ENTER THE COMPUTER AGE
The Russian Republic is gearing up to push its backward banking system into the 20th century. On Sept. 24, the Russian government signed a preliminary agreement with American Telephone & Telegraph's NCR unit to computerize the Russian banking system. The contract is worth up to $1.5 billion. The deal would involve installing computers, automatic teller machines, and communications equipment in up to 40,000 Russian savings banks over the next five years.
In a separate development, Russian executives who travel abroad will soon be able to have their own Visa cards--legally--for the first time. CredoBank, one of the republic's 3,000 fledgling commercial banks, will start issuing Visa debit cards to customers with hard-currency accounts at the bank.EDITED BY SUNITA WADEKAR BHARGAVA