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Mastercard and Visa concerned about new payment law

0 8 May 2014

Mastercard and Visa have pledged to work with the Russian government after a new law was passed that paves the way for a national payment system. According to the new legislation, all transactions between two parties residing in the Russian Federation will be legally required to use the national system from July 2016. 

Mastercard commented that:

“Mastercard has been operating in Russia for over 20 years, giving Russians the opportunity to make electronic payments. We will continue to work closely with the authorities, finance organisations and businesses and we share the government’s aim of reducing the share of cash-transactions in favour of more electronic payments. 

We are still reviewing the new laws terms and conditions, and we are sure that some of its proposals may not only create serious problems for our work in Russia, but also damage Russia’s electronic payments market in the long term.”

Visa, which can be used in 99.6% of Russian card-accepting establishments, also confirmed its willingness to cooperate with the authorities regarding the new law:

“We are aware of the importance of the amendments to the “National Payment System” law. Some of the proposals are unprecedented and will seriously affect the payments market in Russia - in particular card holders, financial institutions and commercial businesses.”

The decision to create a national electronic payment system based on exclusively Russian infrastructure was prompted by Visa and Mastercard's decision to block the cards of clients of four Russian banks after they were listed on the US government's sanctions list. From 1st July 2016 all Russia-to-Russia transactions will have to use this infrastructure, much of which is yet to be built. 


Top image via Shutterstock

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