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Visa Will Stop Operating In the Crimea
December 28, 2014 11:48

The international payment system Visa demanded Russian banks to stop service of cards in the Crimea. Visa explains the tough decision by the new package of sanctions imposed by the United States.

Russian banks have already begun to warn their customers. However, payment systems do not have the means guaranteeing obtaining of information on the exact location of the card transaction. “Kommersant” Publishing House got hold of the letter of Visa payment system. Referring to the US President’s decree as of December 19 prohibiting the US companies to directly or indirectly provide services to persons engaged in activities on the territory of Crimea, Visa has put forward a number of requirements to its customers, primarily banks. 

In particular, the customers of the payment system should immediately “stop to issue cards, render acquiring services or conduct any other operations in the Crimea with the use of the products and services by Visa”. As the official letter of the company says, the restrictions “should be kept until the sanctions against the Crimea are removed”. Responding to the request of “Kommersant”, the payment system confirmed that presently they cannot “render services and offer their products in the Crimea”.

“This means that we can no longer support the issuance and acceptance of bank cards in the Crimea, as well as their service at ATMs” - the official response of the American company says. Apparently, the imposed restrictions affect primarily Russian banks, because the main consumers of card services are Russian tourists. According to the Ministry of Tourism and Resorts of the Crimea, in 2014 the peninsula was visited by about 3.5 million Russians. According to the representative of the Russian bank out of the top 10, “Visa abandons the market with about 2 million potential customers”. At the same time the largest bank on the peninsula, Russian National Commercial Bank, issues cards of the Russian payment system PRO100. However, according to the source of “Kommersant” on the banking market, Russian banks can be disconnected from the service only if Visa recognizes that the transaction was conducted in the Crimea.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Crimea Sanctions    

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