National Russian card payment system established

by The Daily Lede

National Russian card payment system established

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law the establishment of a national Russian card payment system on Monday. The NSPK (National Card Payment) system will ensure the smooth operation of electronic payments across Russia.

Both Visa and MasterCard blocked specific US-sanctioned Russian banks from using their payment systems in March amid the crisis in Ukraine, prompting sharp criticism for blocking bank operations.

On April 28, the US imposed sanctions against seven further Russian individuals and 17 different Russian companies, among them SMP Bank, Sobinbank, and InvestCapitalBank.

The NSPK law was passed in response to the cessation of some functions of Visa and MasterCard systems which happened under the US sanctions. Bank Rossiya was one of the first hit (considered by the US Treasury to essentially be a private bank for Russian officials). It, along with SMP Bank, predictably responded to the limitations by supporting the establishment of the new system.