MOSCOW, June 17 (RIA Novosti) - MasterCard is searching for a Russian company to take on all internal payment transactions within Russia for its international card payment system, the company said Tuesday. All MasterCard transactions are currently processed outside Russia.
MasterCard is holding a tender on the Russian market to provide it with local interbank processing services. The company needs a supplier for clearing, authorization and accounting operations within Russia.
In late March, following Russia's reunification with Crimea, Visa and MasterCard halted client operations for cardholders at Bank Rossiya and SMP Bank, as well as at their subsidiaries Sobinbank and Investkapitalbank, with no prior notice, causing a serious drop in the banks' consumer confidence.
In May, Russia's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Visa and MasterCard could launch their own payment system operator in Russia within the next 18 months. The companies have said they wish to continue working in Russia, despite recent stricter regulatory requirements signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The law to create a national card payment system obliges foreign payment systems to make quarterly contributions to a special account in the Central Bank of Russia, of 25 percent of their average daily turnover beginning July 1. Furthermore, penalties have been introduced for payment systems operators for the unilateral termination of service.