Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a bill to create a new national card payment system (NSPK) in the country after Visa and MasterCard blocked their services to Russian banks.
Following the crisis in Ukraine, both Visa and MasterCard had stopped providing services to US-sanctioned Russian banks since March 2014.
Some of the affected banks include Rossiya Bank, SMP Bank and their subsidiaries Sobinbank and InvestCapitalBank, and 17 other Russian companies.
This move has affected general public, raising concerns over the security of the country’s financial system.
According to Russian Central Bank, building the infrastructure for the launch of the new national payment system may take up to six months, but the distribution of the cards to the public could take up to two years.
Russia further plans to establish a national payment card that works both within the country and abroad.
Meanwhile, Visa and MasterCard have expressed concerns over the future of their business in the country given the new legislation.