The shutdown of the Visa and MasterCard international payment systems in Crimea will step up turning into Russia’s system, Crimea’s head Sergei Aksyonov said on Saturday.
All problems in this sphere will be solved on the peninsula before the tourist season starts, Aksyonov said.
“Tourists can face certain inconveniences. But they [sanctions] allow us to take an alternative decision,” he told NTV.
“I’m sure that there are good heads who are able to solve the problem. The authorities are ready to contribute to this,” Aksyonov said.
The shutdown of the Visa and MasterCard cards had a smaller impact on residents of the peninsula because many of them started using cards of Russian banks. Only those who arrive in Crimea face problems, he said.
“It’s high time to create its own payment system, which will operate inside the country and our partners. It is not bad if these are Russia, India and China. Western specialists and financial groups will ask us to enter the market,” Aksyonov said.
Earlier, Minister for Crimean Affairs Oleg Savelyev told TASS that de facto MasterCard and Visa had suspended their services in Crimea after the March referendum. A Russian payment system is being developed in the region, according to him.
The Bank of Russia says that as of December 26 at least 531 affiliates of Russian banks are functioning in the peninsula, among them the Rossiya bank that the United States put on the sanction list.