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MasterCard to move payment processing to Russia

Staff writer |
MasterCard has agreed to transfer card processing inside Russia to the local state-owned system, Russia's Central Bank said.

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Russian authorities have obliged foreign card companies, which have stopped providing services for some Russian banks that are subject to Western sanctions, to move Russian processing to the local system or pay a hefty security deposit. The deadline for companies to switch to the local system is the end of March.

The agreement between MasterCard and the Central Bank-controlled National System Of Payment Cards, or NSPC, was reached on Dec. 30, the bank said.

The move was made in line with Russian law and will not affect cardholders, MasterCard's representative was quoted as telling Interfax news agency. The company previously used its own processing system outside Russia.

The West has imposed sanctions on several Russian banks over the Kremlin's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine and its support of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's east.

MasterCard and competitor Visa Inc said in December they could no longer support bank cards being used in Crimea, following U.S. sanctions.

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