After MasterCard and Visa’s recent restrictions imposed on Russian banks this past weekend, SMP Bank has announced the ban from the card companies has been lifted and activities have been resumed.
“Payment system MasterCard has taken the decision to this effect overnight to Sunday and system Visa – on Sunday morning. The validity of cards MasterCard is fully restored, transactions with Visa cards will begin within a few hours as long as communications channels adjusted and equipment settings are updated,” a press release from SMP stated.
The initial restrictions and blocking of services were imposed by US officials as part of sanctions brought on upon Russia’s dealing with the Ukraine. MasterCard and Visa ceased activities with Rossiya Bank, Sobinbank and SMP Bank. The order for ceasing activities originates from the majority of Russian government officials having accounts with the banks.
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The initial evaluation of SMP seemed to have been wrong according to the bank, as card holders were cut off in addition to sanctions against main shareholders of the firm. The restrictions mainly included freezing out the banks from using the US dollar, resulting in SMP issued cards being used strictly at POSs and ATMs. After challenging the card companies the ban was lifted and activities were resumed.
“We are glad that two largest international payment systems heeded our arguments and changed their decision to block the bank cards that does not meet legal standards. I am sure that our clients took this situation with understanding,” the president-chairman of the SMP bank board, Dmitry Kalantyrsky, said.
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