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Russia’s UEC creates card chip to replace MasterCard's

June 20, 2014, 11:37 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The chip was developed by Payment Technologies company within 1.5 months ahead of the establishment of the country’s national payment system
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MOSCOW, June 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Universal Electronic Card (UEC), controlled by Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, has created its own banking card chip to be used instead of chips produced under MasterCard’s license, business daily Kommersant reported on Friday.

The chip was developed by Payment Technologies company within 1.5 months ahead of the establishment of the country’s national payment system, which is to be created on its basis on orders from President Vladimir Putin.

However, UEC is not ready to start mass production of the cards with the chip, experts said, as cited by Kommersant. At the moment the chip has only passed laboratory testing, and new cards have not yet been issued. “At least 1.5 years will be needed to reach a full scale production until all needed infrastructure is established,” one of the experts said.

In May, Putin signed a law to establish the national payment system after Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing cards of some Russian banks as part of US and EU sanctions against the country.

Soon after the new law was signed, Visa and MasterCard were told to pay pledges amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars with Russia’s Central Bank to continue operating in the country. The companies and Russian authorities later agreed on a more economically acceptable option that Visa and MasterCard will establish affiliates in Russia and pay no pledges.

Visa is still thinking of leaving Russia, while MasterCard announced a tender to choose a locally registered provider of interbank processing services.

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