25 Jul 2022 09:23

Belarusian banks face problems buying blank payment cards due to sanctions

MINSK. July 25 (Interfax) - Belarusian banks are having problems buying blank payment cards amid western sanctions, although international payment systems continue to operate in the country, the National Bank of Belarus (NBB) said.

"Due to limited possibilities for purchasing blank cards, problems with their personalization and other restrictions, Belarusian banks have rapidly increased issues of Belkart cards [of the national payment system], as well as renewed the cards of international and domestic payment systems," the head of monetary policy and economic analysis at the NBB, Dmitry Murin said in a report posted on the bank's website.

In order to reduce risks related to purchasing blank cards, "technology for the tokenization of transactions in the Belkart payment system and the corresponding mobile app is now being developed," the NBB said. Implementing this technology will make it possible to issue digital Belkart cards and conduct cashless payments in the retail network using mobile devices.

The NBB recalled that Russia's Mir payment system and the Belkart system were previously integrated to allow servicing of Mir cardholders in Belarus and Belkart cardholders in Russia.

As a "result of the measures taken, all payment transactions (including the use of wage cards, payment for goods, work and services, and cash withdrawals) are now conducted in Belarus by holders of the cards of all international payment systems," the NBB said.