International payment system JCB enters Russian market

Japanese company launching card production in collaboration with Gazprombank

A range of JCB cards. Source: AFP / East News
The Japanese company JCB, one of the world's leading payment systems, is launching card production in Russia with the support of the Gazprombank local bank. 

A range of JCB cards (Standard, Gold and Platinum) will be available in 
Gazprombank branches in March of this year.
The agreement between the two companies was signed in October 2014, making Gazprombank JCB's first partner in Russia. Gazprombank is ready to issue any number of cards depending on the demand for the product. 
"We are grateful to JCB International for the cooperation and assistance in this project. I am confident that our customers will appreciate the high level of service offered by the JCB payment system," said Valery Seregin, first vice president of Gazprombank, during a presentation in Moscow on Feb. 24.
JCB is the third system in the world after VISA and MasterCard in terms of the number of stores and businesses where the cards are accepted. At the moment JCB cards are serviced in 190 countries and used by more than 28 million retail and service businesses.
Russia's interest in payment systems used in Asia emerged a year ago, when in March 2014 Visa and Mastercard blocked transactions for cardholders of Bank Rossiya and SMP Bank. The two banks are owned by Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, who was one of the individuals targeted by U.S. sanctions following Russia's annexation of Crimea.

The Russian government then announced the establishment of an independent national payment system based on China's Union Pay, which has operated in Russia since 2008.

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