Putin Says Visa and MasterCard Will Lose Market Share

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. will lose market share in Russia after they blocked some transactions because of U.S. sanctions on individuals and banks.

“We don’t see any steps to punish unconscionable partners, but they are undermining trust, hence will lose market share for sure,” Putin said on Rossiya-24 state television in St. Petersburg today,

Putin said Visa and MasterCard are “very susceptible to political influence and pressure,” and Russia will continue to create its own national payments system.

Visa and MasterCard stopped processing cards for Bank Rossiya last month after the U.S. placed the lender on its sanctions list because of Russia’s takeover of Crimea. SMP Bank, which also had its cards blocked by the two biggest card networks, said March 23 that services would resume soon. SMP Bank’s co-owners, Arkady Rotenberg and brother Boris, were also hit with sanctions.

Seth Eisen, a MasterCard spokesman, said the company continues to “work closely” with its partners and issuers in Russia.

“We are closely monitoring the developments and are keen to ensure our customers and consumers in Russia continue to benefit from our global payment network,” Eisen said in an e-mailed statement. Only cards issued by Bank Rossiya and its affiliate Sobinbank are now blocked, he said.

Rosetta Jones, a spokeswoman for Visa in the U.S., declined to comment.

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