People’s Daily recently reported that Anatoly Aksakov, Deputy Chairman of the Russian State Duma Financial Markets Committee, suggested Russian banks under U.S. and European sanction may switch to China’s UnionPay credit card system, replacing the Western payment networks such as Visa and MasterCard. UnionPay is the only domestic bank card organization in China. Established in 2002, UnionPay has grown into the second largest payment network after Visa. UnionPay is now accepted in 141 countries in the world, including United States. Visa and MasterCard stopped the payment services for two Russian banks after the sanctions imposed on Russia after its invasion of Crimea. Aksakov said that even Iran has survived the financial sanctions. Russia’s participation in UnionPay will only hurt Visa and MasterCard.
Source: People’s Daily, March 21, 2014