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MasterCard Agrees to Move Payment Processing to Russia

Russia requires all international payment systems and banks that issue payment cards to process transactions via a new local system or pay a hefty fine.

International credit and debit card company MasterCard has agreed to transfer card processing inside Russia to the local state-owned system, Russia's Central Bank said Monday.

Russian authorities have obliged foreign card companies, which have stopped providing services for some Russian banks subject to Western sanctions, to move Russian processing to the local system or pay a hefty security deposit.

The deadline for companies to switch to the local system is the end of March.

The agreement between MasterCard and the Central Bank-controlled National System of Payment Cards (NSPC) was reached on Dec. 30, the regulator said.

The move was made in line with Russian law and will not affect cardholders, a MasterCard representative was quoted as telling the Interfax news agency. The company previously used its own processing system, which is outside Russia.

The West has imposed sanctions on several Russian banks over the Kremlin's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine and its support of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine's east.

MasterCard and competitor Visa said in December that they could no longer support bank cards being used in Crimea, following U.S. sanctions.

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