Russian banks may issue cards with China's UnionPay

TEHRAN, Mar. 06 (MNA) – Russian banks to switch to China's UnionPay as Visa, Mastercard cut links, media have reported.

Sberbank, Russia's biggest lender, along with Alfa Bank and Tinkoff on Sunday said they would soon start issuing cards using the Chinese UnionPay card operator's system coupled with Russia's Mir network.

The move comes after Visa and MasterCard suspended their operations in Russia owing to Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Payments company PayPal also suspended its operations in Russia on Saturday.

According to Reuters, while several Russian banks already use UnionPay, others including Sberbank and Tinkoff could start issuing cards co-badging Russia's domestic Mir payments system with UnionPay, it added.

Thousands of Russians, including holidaymakers, are stranded abroad after many countries closed off their airspace to Russian aircraft while Russia has retaliated with flight bans for many foreign airlines.

The central bank advised citizens currently overseas, to withdraw cash before the ban came into force.


News Code 184583


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