MasterCard, Visa resume services for Russia’s SMP Bank clients despite US sanctions

© Photo: SXC.hu

© Photo: SXC.hu

 

The MasterCard and Visa electronic payment networks have reversed their decision to cut off online services for payment transactions for the clients of the SMP bank controlled by brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who have both been listed among the Russian officials subject to US sanctions over Crimea.

SMP Bank’s co-owner Yuri Kovalchuk is also on the US sanctions list of 20 Russians, which was announced on Thursday.

The same day Visa and MasterCard stopped serving the clients of SMP Bank and another Russian bank, Rossiya. The payment system MasterCard made this decision in the late hours of Saturday and the Visa system made the decision on Sunday morning.

“By now, card serviceability for the bank’s MasterCard holders has been fully restored. Transactions for Visa card holders will resume within hours,” SMP Bank said in statement on Sunday.

“We are glad that the world’s largest international payment networks have heeded our arguments and reversed their decision to suspend transactions…,” the statement quotes the bank’s CEO Dmitry Kalantyrsky as saying.

After the cards were blocked, their holders could not use them to pay for goods and services and withdraw cash abroad. Card holders could only receive cash on their cards in the bank’s offices and ATMs and in the ATMs of the Unified Settlement System.

” Thus, the payment systems have admitted their wrong actions on SMP Bank, whose cards were blocked after the US imposed sanctions on the main shareholders of the bank,” the bank said.

Voice of Russia, RIA, Interfax

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