Russia Launches China UnionPay Credit Card
Forget Visa and MasterCard. After the two American credit system payment companies froze accounts without notice in March, Russia has been looking for an alternative in China UnionPay.
Russian financiers who used to keep their assets in dollars and euros were shocked by the event, and moved their capital back to Russia out of fear one day all their assets would be blocked by politicians in Washington DC.
In overall transactions, Visa is still the leader with $4.6 trillion, and China UnionPay comes in second with $2.5 trillion in transactions in the first half of last year. UnionPay already successfully operates in Australia and Canada, with their deposits tied to both the local currency and the yuan. In total, UnionPay operates in 142 countries.
China’s UnionPay will be a temporary solution for Russia to detach from the West while it prepares to launch its own payment system, which officially isn’t slated to begin operating for another 16 months, and according to sources in the industry, it could even be 2-3 years out.
All of this highlights the importance of diversifying your finances outside the control of the US. Offshore banking is a convenient way for individuals to do just that.