A national payment system could be established in Russia by the summer of 2014, in response to US sanctions.
The announcement was made by Chairman of the Federation Council Committee on Budget and Financial Markets, Sergey Riabukhin.
The news follows Visa and MasterCard’s block on credit card services to several Russian financial institutions in March of this year, including InvestKapitalBank and SMP Bank although both Visa and MasterCard have now resumed processing payment transactions at SMP Bank and InvestKapitalBank.
The national payment system would be developed through extending an existing payment system, with Sberbank’s Pro100 being considered, to reduce the dependence of the Russian market on foreign players.
Sberbank CEO German Gref, said, "I believe that we need to create a national payment system, the kind that exists in many other countries.
"As for the national processing and hosting, the Pro100 system based on the Universal Electronic Card is one of the options being considered," he added.
Legislation has already been introduced in Russia’s parliament that would ban the use of payment systems based outside the country.
Russian lawmaker Vladislav Reznik, said on introducing the measure: "The fact that our banks use infrastructure that they cannot control carries a real threat for national security."
Head of Research at Bank BKF, Maxim Osadchiy, believes that the costs of creating a national payment system could reach billions of dollars due to the requirement of establishing a processing center.
Visa and MasterCard currently process over 85% of card transactions made in Russia.