In the absence of Visa and Mastercard Russia adopted UnionPay as an alternative

Russia adopted UnionPay as an alternative

UnionPay now works as an alternative to Visa and Mastercard for Russia:

  • Russian financial authorities responded to Visa and Mastercard’s decision to remove Russian banks from their network.
  • Now, the financial institutions of the Eurasian country will adopt the Chinese UnionPay payment system.
  • As reported by the Tass news agency, some banks will issue joint cards between UnionPay and the similar Russian Mir system.

Recently, the electronic payment and credit and debit card companies, Visa and Mastercard, bowed to the Western sanctions against Moscow. In response, the Russian Federation adopted the UnionPay international payment system as an alternative. It is a firm created by China.

In this way, the Kremlin takes a new step in its efforts to deal with the punitive measures adopted by the United States and its allies. The list of sanctions is long and many of them are answered by the Russian authorities by allying with Beijing.

Consequently, another of Russia’s measures in the face of exclusion from the Swift international banking system was to seek the Chinese equivalent. The latter is about CIPS, which is emerging as one of the largest in the future. Thus, in less than a decade it already encompasses the equivalent of 10% of Swift banks.

Is UnionPay really an alternative for Russia?

This weekend it became known that Russia is seeking China’s UnionPay system as an alternative to fill the void of Visa and Mastercard. After multiple speculations about the adoption of cryptocurrencies in response, the Kremlin opted for the aforementioned Chinese system.

The announcement of this turnaround was announced by the Bank of Russia and reported by various media such as Reuters. The Russian national financial institution assured that domestic banks could use this alternative.

The People’s Republic of China, 20 years ago, created this system in its painstaking preparation to become a superpower. Its headquarters is in the gigantic city of Shanghai. It is highlighted that UnionPay, known internationally as CUP and UPI, operates in more than 180 countries and has a solid customer base according to its operators.

In this way, Russia carries out a new attempt to overcome the sanctions, for which it adopted UnionPay as an alternative. Likewise, the Russian central bank reported that this platform would be complemented by the Russian Mir. It is the equivalent that Moscow created in its previous preparation for a scenario like the one it is currently experiencing.

According to the Bank of Russia, Moscow adopted UnionPay as an alternative to withdrawing Visa and Mastercard from the country.  Source: Wall Street Journal
According to the Bank of Russia, Moscow adopted UnionPay as an alternative to withdrawing Visa and Mastercard from the country. Source: Wall Street Journal

Bank cards will be launched together

An important aspect to highlight is that an important group of Russian banks had already been working with the aforementioned Chinese firm. In that sense, it is a valuable experience that, seen in retrospect, served as a kind of pilot plan for what they will now implement. In this way, some banks already assume that they will issue cards together (Mir-UnionPay).

With these cards, Russian citizens could pay for purchases or withdraw money abroad. This last step would be seriously considered by financial institutions of great weight in the Eurasian country such as Sberbank and Alfa Bank, according to the Russian news agency Tass.

With this, it is understood that Russia adopted a system of the caliber of UnionPay as an alternative to the powerful Visa and Mastercard. For some RT analysts, this context serves to show the world that there are alternative systems to those operated in an alleged monopoly by US and European firms.