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Russia-based Gazprombank has launched a new payment offering after major payment firms including Mastercard and Visa halted their services in the country in the wake of Ukraine crisis and subsequent sanctions on the country.

Dubbed GazpromPay wallet, the offering facilitates payments from any bank card at online stores using smartphones.

In addition to linking their existing cards, the wallet also allows users to instantly issue and use virtual cards to make purchases at online stores.

Gazprombank deputy chairman of the board Dmitry Zauers said: “In recent years, Gazprombank has been one of the most active participants in the process of digitalisation of the Russian financial sector, including the progressive development of a wide range of modern remote services for the convenience of its retail and corporate clients.

“The launch of the GazpromPay payment wallet is the most important stage in this process, and the need to invest in the development of such services in Russia today has acquired particular relevance.”

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The wallet is currently available at several online stores, including Tretyakov Gallery, and GPB Mobile. The bank said that it is seeking to significantly expand the list of online stores partners.

It is also planning to add new functionality to the requirements of customers and partners as demand for reliable and stable Russian wallet services increases.

Last month, the Russian central bank said that the users of cards issued by sanctioned Russian banks were restricted from being used with Google Pay and Apple Pay services.

Following the sanctions, payment majors such as Visa, Mastercard, Amex, Western Union, suspended their operations in Russia.

Earlier this month, a report by Reuters said that Russian banks are looking to tap China’s UnionPay to issue cards in the country.