Russia’s LaitBank look set to be the first in Russia to begin issuing China UnionPay cards, with approximately 10,000 to be issued within the next week, according to Russian news outlet Gazeta.
LaitBank, a small private bank, began talks with UnionPay back in 2012 and started receiving their first shipment of cards on Thursday. According to sources at the bank, they will be receiving an additional 50,000 cards from China UnionPay over the coming months.
This news comes as a number of Russia’s biggest banks are looking to agree terms with China UnionPay to start issuing cards from the Chinese. These banks include Alfa Bank, Gazprombank and Bank of Moscow.
According to Fen Zhiguang, a representative for China UnionPay in Russia said back in July that Russia was to form a big part of the firm’s strategy over the next three years, with the company looking issue 2 million cards into the Russian market over this period.