Leave it to the Russians to come up with ATMs that lend out money – and OF COURSE their popularity would rise during an economic crisis that casts such a heavy burden on Russia that even President Putin is concerned.
The Russian behind these machines that lend out money is Oleg Boyko, a billionaire whose wealth stems from his gambling businesses. While Putin banned gambling in 2009, Boyko is still loaded.
At least, wealthy enough to install 20 ATMs in the capital city of Moscow.
Russian Crisis: Moscow Restaurants Gear Up For “Hunger Games” Style Battle
Instead of using an ATM card, a person seeking a loan has his passport scanned and his photo taken by the machine. He then inserts his contact details, after which he receives a confirmation text that allows him to withdraw cash.
People can borrow as much as 15,000 rubles (close to $250) that can be paid back in 20 days of less. At an interest rate of 2 percent over the 20-day period, it’s not a bad deal.
While this concept of micro-finance is criticized for preying on the venerable, a report by Bloomberg highlights its advantages as Russians make use of it during troubling economic times.