Law on Russian payment card for foreign tourists adopted

The market is more than the opportunity to open a Russian bank account, waiting for an electronic entry visa -dlja-inostrannyh-turistov-3b9d38a.jpg” alt=”The law on the Russian payment card for foreign tourists was adopted” />

The State Duma adopted in three readings a bill giving the right to Russian banks to open account for foreign tourists and legal entities without personal presence or representatives. To do this, you will have to contact a bank or other financial institution in your country. The card will help the tourist to make purchases on vacation in Russia. We found out how foreign tourists make payments in Russia now.

According to the bill, in order to issue a bank “tourist card”, a Russian bank will need to conclude an agreement and delegate to a foreign bank or other foreign financial organization the identification of a client or his representative. After completing the procedure in their country, tourists will be able to open an electronic account in a Russian bank remotely. The tourist will be able to receive his Russian payment card upon arrival in Russia.

“As expected, a foreign currency and ruble account will be opened in a Russian bank for such a foreigner, into which a tourist can put his money, and then, after conversion, use rubles to pay for goods and services in Russia,” says ATOR Vice President, General director of the tour operator Space Travel Artur Muradyan.

According to him, in more than 90% of cases, visiting foreigners now pay in Russia in cash, exchanging the currency they brought with them for rubles.

It is used much less often, but there is also such a mechanism as a deposit – that is, a tourist can deposit money in his own country, and receive here the amount in rubles through the host company. This effectively works like a hotel deposit.

Chinese tourists, who are expected to form the bulk of the tourist flow to Russia after the renewal of the agreement on visa-free travel for groups, will also be able to open accounts in Russian jars.

Chinese UnionPay cards work in Russia, but are not accepted by all banks. In particular, many outlets in Russia are equipped with Sber POS terminals.

This bank dominates the Russian merchant acquiring market, but is under sanctions, so you cannot pay with a Chinese card in such a terminal .

Chinese coming to Russia now (mostly business tourists) take cash with them or withdraw money from UnionPay cards at available ATMs.

Experts do not yet undertake to predict how popular the opportunity to open an account in a Russian bank will be among foreign tourists. It is not yet clear which foreign credit organizations will verify foreigners for Russian banks and how the mechanism will work in the opposite direction – whether it will be possible to transfer the tourist's money back to a foreign account if he does not spend the entire amount on the trip.

< class="MsoNormal">However, at the moment there is no talk of any significant number of foreign tourists. Mostly business tourists go to Russia now, there are practically no sightseeing tourists.

“Now there are practically no classic foreign tourists who came to Russia for vacation. We are all waiting for the launch of the e-visa, which will give impetus to the recovery of the inbound tourism segment in Russia. As long as there is no electronic visa, the need for a tourist bank card is not so great, ”said Marina Levchenko, general director of the Tari Tour tour operator.

Recall that the Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation previously reported that electronic The visa will work in Russia in July of this year. Russian President Vladimir Putin previously proposed to introduce it only for citizens of “friendly countries”.

The electronic visa was supposed to work in Russia from January 1, 2021. But the pandemic prevented the introduction of a new entry mechanism. It was assumed that citizens of 52 countries of the world would be able to receive an electronic visa.

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