Thanks to Mastercard, Russia’s National Payment System is getting a head start with 5 Russian banks leading the way, according to RT.com. Russia’s Central Bank released an announcement that five banks, including regional ones, processed domestic MasterCard transactions through the National Payment Processing center, the bank said in a press release. The transition in the payment system will be introduced gradually and should be completed by the deadline of March 31.
Russia’s National Bank didn’t name the participating banks, but the list is thought to include Gazprombank, Rosbank, Alfa Bank, Bank Rossiya, SMP bank and Ural Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The new payment system is being rolled out domestically and then an international payment platform will be developed. The system started as anxieties that Russia could be removed from the global interbank SWIFT system because of growing tensions with the West. Mastercard signed an agreement to start processing payments in Russia. Visa, which has a larger market share in Russia, also agreed, but has yet to sign a contract.