Well-known Chinese news site Sina (NASDAQ: SINA) recently reported that, after the two major credit card brands Mastercard and Visa announced the suspension of their operations in Russia, several Russian banks, including Sberbank, announced on the same day that they plan to switch to China UnionPay. They have started issuing cards using the UnionPay payment system. This move is expected to ease the impact of the current situation on Russian cardholders. In addition to Sberbank, Alpha Bank and Tinkoff Bank both issued announcements to switch to UnionPay. Russia’s Pochta Bank, Gazprom Bank, Russian Industrial Communications Bank and some other small banks have already cooperated with China UnionPay. On March 6, Mastercard and Visa announced that they would stop their business in Russia in response to Russia’s military operations in Ukraine. Visa and Mastercard accounted for 74 percent of Russian payment transactions according to a previous report by The Wall Street Journal.
Source: Sina, March 6, 2022