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Russian Finance Ministry ready to extend deadline for Visa, MasterCard

August 27, 2014, 15:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Under the law, the systems must pay security deposits equaling 25% of their average daily turnover to the central bank by October 31 in order to continue operating in Russia
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© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, August 27. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Finance Ministry is ready to extend the deadlines for international payment systems Visa and MasterCard to transfer their card processing to the country from October 31, Deputy Minister Alexei Moiseyev said in a news conference Wednesday.

“We will follow the schedule. We will analyze it, and if we see that they’ve failed to meet the terms even though they did everything possible - then we will consider such a possibility (of extending the deadline),” Moiseyev said.

In May, President Vladimir Putin signed a law ordering to establish a national payment system after Visa and MasterCard stopped servicing cards of some Russian banks as part of U.S. and EU sanctions against the country. Soon after the new law was signed, Visa and MasterCard were told to pay deposits amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Under the law, the systems must pay security deposits equaling 25% of their average daily turnover to the central bank by October 31 in order to continue operating in Russia, but the deposits can be reduced to zero if the systems find a partner among nationally important card operators.

On August 14, business daily Vedomosti reported citing sources that the central bank may extend the deadline when MasterCard and Visa must pay security deposits as none of them has chosen a partner to process cards in Russia to the beginning 2015 from October 31.

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