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"Kommersant": foreign online stores block transfers from UnionPay cards issued in the Russian Federation
13 April, 11:34
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"Kommersant": foreign online stores block transfers from UnionPay cards issued in the Russian Federation
Photo: mironline.ru
Many Russian users have issued virtual cards of the Chinese international payment system UnionPay to pay for purchases in foreign online stores. According to Kommersant, there are problems with this, and transfers are often blocked.

In Russia, the demand for UnionPay cards has reached feverish proportions due to the termination of work in the Russian Federation of the international payment systems Visa and MasterCard. The Chinese payment system operates in 180 countries, including the EU and the US.

“If before the introduction of sanctions, the volume of issue of cards of this PS in the country was estimated at 50 thousand pieces, now, even according to the most conservative estimates of experts, we are talking about 500 thousand pieces. At the same time, a significant proportion of recently issued cards are virtual, for paying for goods and services, booking and other things on the Internet”, - Kommersant notes .

Due to the excitement around UnionPay, the cost of issuing and servicing cards starts from a few thousand and reaches up to 10 thousand rubles a year. At the same time, the agency notes that in social networks and on specialized forums there were reports of problems with the use of Chinese payment system cards by Russian users. The source notes that only a few managed to use cards on plastic carriers abroad, and reviews about this are different. One of the holders complained that the card was almost never accepted in the US, but whether there is a similar problem in other countries is still unknown.

“More importantly, it is often not possible to pay for purchases on the Internet with a UnionPay card. Banks do not advertise the existence of a problem, but the call centers that Kommersant called did not hide the fact that the impossibility of payment is a common phenomenon”, - the newspaper notes.

Russian banks issuing such cards did not respond to official requests from the agency.

“In informal conversations, bankers say that the problem is in foreign online stores, which, against the backdrop of the conflict between the Russian Federation and Ukraine, decided simply not to serve the Russians, although sanctions do not provide for this,” Kommersant’s interlocutors told Kommersant.

One of the experts interviewed by the publication noted that acquiring banks do not have the right to discriminate against a card by country of issue. In his opinion, using a simple technological solution, instead of litigating with the blocking of specific banks, merchants simply block the entire country.

The executive director of the National Payment Association, Maria Mikhailova, believes that it is possible to make decisions about working with cards only at the level of acquirers. In her opinion, UnionPay could influence the situation.

“The main task of any PS is to ensure that its participants comply with the uniform rules and principles of servicing all cardholders of the system. The Ministry of Railways has long-term built-in mechanisms for monitoring the quality of infrastructure operation. It is the responsibility of the payment system to ensure that the acquirer accepts all PS cards”, - said Mikhailova.

According to Kommersant, the Chinese payment system has decided not to interfere in what is happening.

“UnionPay seems to prefer not to interfere in the situation; they did not respond to Kommersant’s request in the payment system”, - the publication notes.