Visa, MasterCard will lose out, Putin warns

Moscow - Visa and MasterCard would lose market share in Russia after they blocked some transactions because of US sanctions on individuals and banks, Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday.

“We don’t see any steps to punish unconscionable partners, but they are undermining trust, hence will lose market share for sure,” Putin said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo: Bloomberg. Credit: Bloomberg

He added that MasterCard and Visa were “very susceptible to political influence and pressure”, and Russia would continue to create its own national payments system.

Visa and MasterCard stopped processing cards for Bank Rossiya last month after the US placed the lender on its sanctions list because of Russia’s takeover of Crimea. SMP Bank, which also had its cards blocked, said on March 23 that services would resume soon.

SMP’s co-owners, brothers Boris and Arkady Rotenberg, were also hit with sanctions.

A spokesman for MasterCard declined to comment. A Visa spokeswoman in the US was not available. – Bloomberg