Russia’s Sberbank Removes Chips From Un-activated Cards To Combat Shortage

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Sberbank, a Russian majority state-owned banking and financial services company, has begun removing chips from un-activated bank cards to address supply shortages as a result of sanctions that have forced European suppliers to suspend transactions with Russia.

“A shortage of chips for cards has started in Russia. We mostly worked with European chip producers…there is now a big problem with logistics from Europe. Plus, Visa and Mastercard left the Russian market, so everyone started reissuing and making Mir cards, so increased demand for card issuance appeared,” said Olga Maklashina, Head of Cyber Compliance at Sberbank.

Maklashina claimed the program saved one billion roubles (US$15.86 million) with about 375,000 cards un-activated every month.

“Chips became scarce and more expensive. Our colleagues at the issuing centre came up with an almost genius solution – reimplantating bank card chips. That is, we started picking out chips from cards and inserting them into new ones,” Maklashina said.

Russia is facing several sanctions over its decision to invade Ukraine. While some technology companies suspended operations in the country, others quit leaving the country short of access to vital technology products.

The sources for this piece include an article in Reuters.

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