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Russia’s Wildberries Goes to War With Visa, Mastercard

Wildberries has changed its policies so it's effectively cheaper for consumers to purchase using domestic payment platforms. Shutterstock
Wildberries has changed its policies so it's effectively cheaper for consumers to purchase using domestic payment platforms. Shutterstock
By
  • Daria Labutina

Last week, Russia’s top e-commerce platform, Wildberries, announced a 2 percent price reduction on payments made with Russian systems MIR, SBP and SberPay, explaining the move by saying it was simply making transaction commission costs more transparent.

The platform itself is charged a lower commission when processing transactions with domestic payment systems, and is charged an additional 2 percent commission when consumers pay with foreign cards, such as Visa and Mastercard.

Wildberries said Russians can save about 40 million roubles ($540,000) collectively per day by paying with domestic systems.

After the introduction of the new policy MIR cards leapfrogged Visa and Mastercard to become the most used payment method on Wildberries. SberPay too has seen a rapid rise in its transaction volumes, which have increased five-fold since the new policy was introduced.

Now Visa is fighting back, warning banks working with Wildberries they can face penalties of $25,000 for charging extra fees for purchases using Visa cards, as it constitutes a violation of Visa’s rules.

Learn more:

How Russia’s Richest Woman Made Her Fortune in Fashion

Wildberries.ru, the online fashion business she started from home whilst on maternity leave now turns over $6 billion per year.

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