After receiving authorization to re-enter the Russian market, US card firm MasterCard is inviting Russian processors to bid for a contract for domestic payments to comply with new regulations.
The crisis in Crimea forced American card firms MasterCard and Visa to freeze out Russian accounts earlier this year as a result of US sanctions on the region. While operations were partially reinstated shortly afterwards, Russian president Vladimir Putin took to erecting new regulations to prevent from such an incident to happen again.
“Russia is an important market for MasterCard and we are committed to providing the best possible services for Russian cardholders while continuing to develop electronic payment innovations in this market,” stated Ilya Riaby, GM, Russia, MasterCard.
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One of the new regulations is to have payment hosting done domestically, meaning MasterCard is now forced to find a local payment processing solution to comply with the regulations. As a result the card firm released a “Request for Proposal” asking local and Russian Central Bank registered processing companies based in Russia to bid for the position of authorizing, clearing and settling domestic payments for Russian MasterCard cards.
Russian president Putin has also taken further steps to prevent the freezing of accounts for Russian citizens, and recently met with officials in China to implement China UnionPay as Russia’s official national payment scheme.