State-Run Belarusbank to Begin Accepting American Express Cards

State-owned Belarusbank, the largest lender in Belarus by assets, plans to start accepting American Express Co. (AXP) cards, becoming the country’s second bank to open its payments network to the New York-based company.

“Our system is practically ready to accept American Express cards,” Illia Shalanki, a deputy chairman of Belarusbank’s management board, told reporters today in the capital, Minsk.

Belarusbank and BPS-Sberbank, the local unit of Russia’s biggest lender, OAO Sberbank (SBER), will service AmEx cardholders at their joint nationwide network of about 30,000 terminals, Shalanki said.

BPS-Sberbank was the first Belarusian lender to strike a partnership with American Express, the biggest credit-card issuer by purchases, in 2010. AmEx lacks a branch network and doesn’t issue debit cards linked to checking accounts, the world’s fastest-growing payment method.

To contact the reporter on this story: Aliaksandr Kudrytski in Minsk, Belarus at akudrytski@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net

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