Russian banks turn to China after Visa and Mastercard leave the country

Russian banks turn to China after Visa and Mastercard leave the country

Several Russian banks announced this Sunday (6) that they would issue new payment cards with the Chinese UnionPay card system linked to the Russian Mir network, following the decision of US giants Visa and MasterCard to suspend operations in Russia. The decision was made by the country’s largest financial institution, Sberbank, in addition to Alfa Bank and Tinkoff.

Visa and MasterCard, world leaders in the sector, announced on Saturday that they would no longer operate in Russian territory. In the coming days, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country, and all Visa cards issued abroad will no longer operate within Russia.

“Following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and unacceptable incidents, we are compelled to act,” Visa’s managing director Al Kelly said in a statement.

Mastercard has already clarified that cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be accepted on its network and that cards issued by financial institutions outside Russia will no longer be valid at Russian ATMs or commerce.

According to the Russian news agency Tass, the bank Sberbank said that the sanctions announced by American companies will not affect users of cards issued in Russia.

bank balance censorship

Also on Sunday, the Russian Central Bank ordered the country’s banks not to publish their financial statements since the adoption of Western sanctions against the country. Threatening measures destroy the banking sector and the economy of the country’s population.

Some of the largest financial institutions have been cut off from the SWIFT international system, which limits transactions with the rest of the world. The Russian currency, the ruble, has declined in value and restrictions have been imposed on the purchase of foreign currency in the country in an effort to limit national losses and capital flight.

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“The Bank of Russia has decided to temporarily limit the volume of balance sheet publications by credit institutions on its banks and the Central Bank”, indicates a statement from BC, highlighting Western sanctions.

The text states that banks should continue to disseminate information to the central bank, but it will no longer be disclosed.

Over the past week, Russians have collectively withdrawn from their savings bank accounts, as shown by images of long lines in front of ATMs and banks.

Reuters and AFP. with information from

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