x

Economy

Russian Banks Consider China UnionPay Cards after Sanctions

LONDON — Leading Russian banks are looking into issuing cards that operate on a Chinese payment system after Visa and Mastercard said they would cut their services in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.

Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank said Sunday that they are considering the possibility of payment cards powered by China’s UnionPay system. Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, said it would announce the launch date later.

Sberbank and Tinkoff told users that they will be able to use Visa and Mastercard for transactions within Russia but they will stop working for payments outside of the country after Wednesday.

The Russian central bank warned Sunday that all cards using the Visa or Mastercard systems will stop working for both purchases on foreign websites and transactions abroad.

Russian banks are scrambling to find new ways to facilitate cross-border payments after a host of foreign companies suspended financial services, part of a larger move by the West to isolate Russia and cut it off from the global financial system. Along with Visa and Mastercard, American Express also withdrew its services over the weekend.

They followed major brands from Apple to Shell and Ikea in pulling out of Russia. But China has reaffirmed its ties, with the foreign minister on Monday calling Russia Beijing’s “most important strategic partner.”

China has refused to criticize the invasion of Ukraine but tried to distance itself by calling for dialogue and respect of national sovereignty.

The Chinese payment processor UnionPay benefits from its position as a payment monopoly bolstered by the large Chinese population and the world’s second-largest economy, helping it to grow into a serious rival to Visa and Mastercard.

UnionPay cards are accepted at physical stores in 180 countries and regions and at online stores in 200 countries and regions, according to its website.

RELATED

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is once again under the spotlight after a manager failed to consult a collections committee before purchasing a 21-star flag whose description as a rare banner marking Illinois' 1818 admission to the Union is disputed.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

2 Germans, a Spaniard and a Senegalese Killed in Building Collapse in Spain’s Mallorca Island

MADRID (AP) — Spain's National Police on Friday gave details on four people killed when a building housing a bar and restaurant club collapsed on the island of Mallorca.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.  — The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is once again under the spotlight after a manager failed to consult a collections committee before purchasing a 21-star flag whose description as a rare banner marking Illinois' 1818 admission to the Union is disputed.

BABYLON, NY – Babylon AHEPA Chapter 416 awarded two very well-qualified students Yanni Saridakis and Maria Avlonitis with $1,000 scholarships on May 19.

THRU JUNE 4 NEW YORK – The third iteration of the Carte Blanche project featuring Maria Antelman with the work ‘The Seer (Deep)’ opened on April 19 and runs through June 4, Monday-Friday 9 AM-2:30 PM, at the Consulate General of Greece in New York, 69 East 79th Street in Manhattan.

ATHENS – An Archieratical Divine Liturgy and a memorial service honoring the 50th dark anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus at the Metropolis – the Greek Orthodox Cathedral of Athens – marked the beginning of the 4th Archon International Conference on Religious Freedom of the Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on Sunday, May 26.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.