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National payment system for Russia to be ready 'in 18 months' — Central Bank governor

June 30, 2014, 16:34 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Negotiations continue with Visa and MasterCard on their current operations in Russia as moves advance to establish a system to clear domestic card transactions
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© EPA/PETER FOLEY

MOSCOW, June 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Start-up troubles plaguing progress towards integrating national and international payment systems for Russia should be settled over the next 18 months, Central Bank governor Elvira Nabiullina told President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Negotiations continue with Visa and MasterCard on their current operations in Russia as moves advance to establish a system to clear domestic card transactions, Nabiullina said.

Processing and clearance centres are being developed to issue and administer full-service payment cards governed by Russian technology and operating inside its borders.

Developments follow finance sector tension over Russian insistance that Visa and MasterCard make security deposits against their continued operations in Russia. Suggestions that the global majors might withdraw from Russia has brought new thinking about lowering the size of any deposits or a postponement of their introduction.

Twin-track systems are now being developed in response to recent sanctions imposed by US authorities on Russian banks. Seeking to maintain Visa and MasterCard operations in Russia, compromise has delivered a deal in which the global systems will run in tandem with Russia's intended new process.

Russian payment card transactions internally will be processed by the national system while international transactions will be administered, as now, by Visa and MasterCard.

“Amendments have been introduced in legislation to create a fully-fledged national payment system. Citizens accustomed to using plastic cards will feel protected from any unfriendly actions which may be taken from somewhere outside,” bank chief Nabiullina said.

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