- Middle-class Russians search for ways to circumvent sanctions on payments, including opening accounts in Central Asia.
- Uzbekistan saw deposits grow by UZS 60.5tn ($5.3bn) in 2022, hinting at how Russians have retained access to international commerce despite sanctions.
- Russia has responded to sanctions by launching its own payment systems, such as the National Card Payment System (NSPK) and Mir.
- QR payment systems and physical alternatives to digital wallets have gained popularity among Russians.
- Visa and Mastercard still dominate the global payments market, and potential rivals would face geopolitical challenges in building rival networks.
Russians search for bootleg solutions to overcome payments sanctions
Russians are searching for creative ways to circumvent payments sanctions, such as opening accounts in Central Asia or using QR payment systems. Despite launching their own payment systems, Russia still faces challenges in supplanting Visa and Mastercard.