Putin vows to build Russian rival to Visa and MasterCard
27 March 2014 | 16406 views | 14
President Vladimir Putin says Russia will set up its own payments system after MasterCard and Visa cut off services to several of the country's banks in response to US sanctions.
Last week Visa and MasterCard stopped processing transactions for customers of Bank Rossiya after it was placed on a sanctions list by the US government in response to Putin's move to annex the region of Crimea.
The US card giants also temporarily cut off SMP Bank because its owners - brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg - were on the sanctions list.
In a televised meeting with Russian lawmakers, Putin said: "It is really too bad that certain companies have decided on...restrictions," adding: ""I think it will simply lead to a loss of certain segments of the market for them, and a rather profitable market at that."
The president says that Japan's JCB and China's UnionPay "work very well" concluding: "Why should we not do it? We should definitely do it and we will do it."
A Russian payment card system has long been touted. In 2010 WikiLeaks released a cable which showed that US officials lobbied the country on behalf of MasterCard and Visa over concerns that planned legislation for the scheme would "disadvantage" American businesses.