Russia considers switching to national payment system after Visa, Mastercard block US-sanctioned Russian banks

Russia considers switching to national payment system after Visa, Mastercard block US-sanctioned Russian banksLast week saw the international turmoil around Ukraine and the Crimea affect Russia?s banking system, as the bank card operations of several US-sanctioned Russian banks were blocked by Visa and Mastercard

Last week saw the international turmoil around Ukraine and the Crimea affect Russia?s banking system, as the bank card operations of several US-sanctioned Russian banks were blocked by Visa and Mastercard. Seven Russian banks were involved in the suspension, reported Russia Today, citing Timur Batyrev, head of the national payment system department at the Central Bank of Russia. Washington?s move was meant to put pressure on 20 Russian individuals seen as members of President Vladimir Putin?s inner circle. These included Yury Kovalchuk, owner of Bank Rossiya and Sobinbank, and the Rotenberg brothers, who control SMP Bank and InvestCapitalBank. One of these banks ? Bank Rossiya ? was directly targeted by the US government, which characterized it as ?providing material support to these individuals,? East-West Digital News, the first all English-language online resource dedicated to Russian digital industries, reported earlier this week. On Sunday, however, Visa and Mastercard resumed payment transaction services for clients of InvestCapitalBank and SMP Bank...