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Int’l payment systems Visa, Mastercard unblock SMP Bank cards

March 23, 2014, 12:41 UTC+3 MOSCOW
On Friday, due to U.S. sanctions international payment systems Visa Mastercard have blocked their services for four Russian banks
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© ITAR-TASS/Gennady Hamelianin

MOSCOW, March 23. /ITAR-TASS/. International payment systems Visa and Mastercard have unblocked cards of bank “Northern Sea Route” (SMP), the crediting organisation stated on Sunday.

“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 said.

The bank believes payment systems recognized that their actions regarding SMP Bank were wrong, as cards of the bank were blocked after the United States had imposed sanctions against main shareholders of the company. After this card holders in this bank could not use them to pay for goods and services and take cash in foreign countries. Cash issue on cards was made only at cashier desks and automated teller machines at SMP Bank and automated teller machines of the Unified Payment System.

“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.

On Friday, due to U.S. sanctions international payment systems Visa Mastercard have blocked their services for four Russian banks, namely Rossiya, Sobinbank, Investcapitalbank and SMP Bank.

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