On Jan 30, the first five Russian banks - Gazprombank, Rossiya Bank, SMP Bank, Alexandrovsky Bank and MDM Bank - started using the National Payment Card System for some of their domestic MasterCard transactions, according to the press office of Russia’s Central Bank.
On Feb 2, they successfully completed their first settlements through accounts with the Central Bank.
According to the CB, the transition of domestic MasterCard transactions to the National Payment Card System will be carried out stage by stage and is to be completed by Mar 31 2015.
“The successful beginning of this process has become an important step in implementing the national program to ensure stable international card transactions in Russia. All systems and procedures worked smoothly, which was a matter of principle for all market players,” Deputy Governor of Russia’s Central Bank Olga Skorobogatova said.
“We are starting a large-scale transition of international cards to the National Payment Card System. All of our processing facilities, communication channels and operating systems have proved to be ready for effective interaction with market players,” Director General of the National Payment Card System Vladimir Komlev said.
On Jan 12, the subsidiary of MasterCard, MasterCard LLC, and the National Payment Card System signed an agreement for switching internal Russian MasterCard transactions to the National Payment Card System’s processing center.
In late Jan, the National Payment Card System announced partnership with Visa, however, no agreement has been signed yet on it.
The reformation of Russia’s payment card system followed MasterCard and Visa’s last-year decision to stop transacting the cards of some of the sanction-ridden Russian banks. The Russian authorities obliged both systems to either pay a fee by Q2 2015 or to start transacting their operations through the National Payment Card System, established in Sept 2014.