MOSCOW: Russia is encountering difficulties in the global expansion of its payment system set up to circumvent Ukraine-related sanctions, the head of Russia’s central bank said on Friday.

Visa and Mastercard suspended their operations in Russia following the Ukraine offensive, meaning foreign-issued cards no longer worked there and cards issued in Russia no longer worked abroad.

Bank transfers between Europe and Russia have become difficult too.

Russia began developing its own domestic payments system in 2015 following a first round of Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea the previous year.

It resulted in the creation of a card payment system called Mir, or World, but in fact the cards are not accepted around the world.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2022

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