A payment card for foreigners – a “tourist card” – may be launched in Russia at the beginning of 2024. This was stated by Deputy Minister of Economic Development of the Russian Federation Dmitry Vakhrukov at the VII All-Russian Forum “Cities of Russia: New Frontiers” in Yekaterinburg, writes RIA Novosti.
“I hope that at the beginning of next year we will put this system into commercial operation,” Vakhrukov said.
According to him, the timing of the launch of the “tourist card” depends on the banks. Vakhrukov also recalled that at the moment foreigners cannot pay in Russia with bank cards and book hotels. “We have made a law that will allow us to remotely identify a tourist, give him a virtual card, and upon arrival he can receive, if he wants, a plastic Mir card at the airport,” he explained.
In October, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a list of 25 countries whose banks can identify their citizens and companies to carry out financial transactions in Russia and open accounts in Russian banks. The list includes Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Belarus, Brazil, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Qatar, Kyrgyzstan, China, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mongolia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.
In March 2022, the international payment systems Visa and Mastercard completely stopped working in Russia. Thus, foreign citizens planning trips to Russia for tourism, business purposes, as well as for medical care, found themselves cut off from the Russian banking infrastructure and are unable to pay for goods and services with their cards.