Visa, MasterCard Continue Working in Russia

Dow Jones Newswires

International payment systems Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. will continue to work in Russia, the country's finance minister said Tuesday as reported by Interfax.

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"We can't quit using these systems, as more than 90% of customers use them," the agency quoted Anton Siluanov as saying.

However he didn't address the issue of the security deposit which non-Russian payment systems will be obliged to place with the country's central bank according to the newly adopted legislation.

In attempt to avoid problems some Russian banks faced in March with Visa and MasterCard, after the U.S. enforced sanctions in connection with the annexation of Crimea, Moscow introduced a new law concerning the creation of a national payment system, which will work independently from Visa and MasterCard. Russian banks have tried several times to create a local payment system, but none of them were widely successful as customers preferred globally used Visa and MasterCard.

Now the national payment system has the support of the Kremlin and may be created soon.

As part of it, foreign payment companies are obliged to place a two-day security deposit with the Bank of Russia.

Visa and MasterCard officials have said the new legislation will dent their profit.