Visa, MasterCard to Stay in Russia

Business » FINANCE | May 23, 2014, Friday // 14:40| Views: | Comments: 0
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Bulgaria: Visa, MasterCard to Stay in Russia File photo

Visa and MasterCard will continue operating in Russia, the companies’ representatives told journalists at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) 2014 on Friday. 

“We are ready to work in Russia,” said CEO for Visa Russia Andrew Torre and MasterCard Russia Director General Ilya Ryabiy, quoted by ITAR-TASS.

Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stated upon the results of talks with Visa and MasterCard representatives that these international payment systems intend to create a Russian national payment operator within a year and a half.

“They have submitted a proposal to the government to work on establishing relations with Russian payment systems during 6 months in order to create a Russian company in a year or a year and a half,” the minister specified.

Earlier this year, Russian lawmakers have adopted regulations which oblige US-based credit card companies Visa and MasterCard to pay billions of USD if they wish to operate in Russia. Under the new legislation, a Russian-based system will also take charge of cashless transactions from this year. 

If international payment systems want to continue operating in Russia, they must also set up their processing center in Russia and place a security deposit in the country's central bank. They are not allowed to freeze client's assets and if they do, the state would withdraw 10% of the deposit each day the ban is in effect.

The measure approved by Moscow's Parliament came after the US imposed sanctions against some Russian banks thus prompting Visa and MasterCard's freezing of services to blacklisted financial institutions.

Visa and MasterCard stopped working with clients of Rossiya Bank and Sobinbank, which were both on the list.

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