Russian Banks Plan to Use China’s UnionPay

Several Russian banks are planning to use China’s bank card service UnionPay as US services Visa and Mastercard suspend services in Russia.

Russia-issued credit cards using the Visa and Mastercard systems will stop functioning after March 9, part of a broader global economic backlash over the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war.

After Visa and Mastercard announced a suspension of operations in Russia on March 5, several local Russian banks said they will switch to China’s UnionPay. Sberbank PJSC said it’s looking into issuing new cards with Russia’s Mir payments system and China’s UnionPay. Alfa Bank, Russia’s largest private bank, will switch to UnionPay to issue cards. Tinkoff Bank stated that they have not issued cards with UnionPay, but will begin using the card provider as soon as possible.

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