UnionPay may be the new issuer for Russian banks amid sanctions

Monday 7 March 2022 10:24 CET | News

The central bank of Russia has announced that the Visa and Mastercard payment systems will stop functioning and some local lenders would look to use China’s UnionPay system instead.

Russian-issued Mastercard and Visa cards will be accepted within the country until their expiry, the bank said. The overseas ban also applies to cards issued by local subsidiaries of foreign banks. It also advised citizens currently overseas, to withdraw cash before the ban came into force.

Its announcement came after the two US payments firms said they were suspending operations in Russia, joining the list of companies that are severing business links with Russia. The central bank added that many Russian banks plan to issue cards using UnionPay, a system enabled in 180 countries.

While several banks already use UnionPay, others including Sberbank and Tinkoff could start issuing cards co-badging Russia's domestic Mir payments system with UnionPay. 

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Keywords: MasterCard, Visa, UnionPay, payment processing, Russia Ukraine War, Issuer
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: Central Bank of Russia, Mastercard, UnionPay, Visa
Countries: Russian Federation
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