Visa and MasterCard to continue to operate in Russia

Tuesday 3 June 2014 09:53 CET | News

Visa and MasterCard have revealed plans to continue to operate in Russia, online media outlet East-West Digital News reports.

Visa and MasterCard executives had expressed concern about the consequences of new rules recently adopted by the Russian parliament, including an obligation to provide Russia’s central bank with a security deposit to be eligible to continue working in Russia. Compliance with the new law would have cost Visa and MasterCard at least USD 2.9 billion.

According to the agreement reached with the Russian authorities, Visa and Mastercard will set-up local operators to serve their Russian customers. These local operators will not transfer payment-related data to processing centers placed under foreign jurisdiction. Their activity will also not be affected by the decisions of foreign governments, such as the recent sanctions that forced Visa and MasterCard to stop serving certain Russian banks.

These local operations will be connected to the national payment system, which Russia decided to build on its own by 2016. Russia’s national payment system will be open to other foreign payment operators, in particular China’s UnionPay and Japan’s JCB.

The details of the agreement have not been disclosed, but the general feeling is that Visa and MasterCard are set to continue working in Russia under conditions that seem acceptable to each party.

According to Central Bank data, 217 million cards have been issued in Russia. A full 95% of them are associated with international payment systems like Visa and MasterCard, and 90% of the transactions made using the cards are within Russia.

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Keywords: Visa, MasterCard, payments general, Russia
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Countries: World
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce