Payment technology

Central Bank of Russia to create own national payment system

Central Bank of RussiaRussia’s central bank recently said that it would create a national payment card system to compete with Visa and MasterCard without the use of existing infrastructure.

The Central Bank of Russia’s press office said the new system is expected to be up and running in 2015, and the first system-branded cards are expected to be issued within a year and a half, according to Russia Beyond the Headlines.

After Russia announced plans to create its own system following U.S. sanctions that created service interruptions for Russian bank customers, experts predicted the system would be based on existing framework developed by Sberbank—Russia’s largest bank.

A commission responsible for choosing the platform for the national payment system opted last week to create an entirely new platform, forgoing proposals to use Sberbank’s platform or the Golden Crown system, according to The Moscow Times.

Visa and MasterCard will have until Oct. 31 to find a Russian payment system “of national importance” to process transactions in order to avoid paying approximately $3 billion for a security deposit and fines for interruption of service.

In order to be considered a system of national importance, a payment network must keep at least 25 percent of its infrastructure, applications and software contracted with Russian organizations for at least five years. Currently, only the National Settlement Depository—part of the Moscow Stock Exchange Group—qualifies as a system of national importance, The Moscow Times reports.

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