Sberbank has signed an agreement to accept JCB cards on its merchant acquiring network across Russia.

The deal will enable card payments for people travelling from east and southeast Asia.

The acceptance of JCB cards will be automatically enabled for all new clients signing an acquiring agreement with Sberbank.

For the existing clients on its acquiring network, the bank plans to roll out the acceptance gradually.

Sberbank director of Acquiring and Bank Card division Svetlana Kirsanova said: “The development of cashless transactions in Russia is one of our strategic priorities. That is why the connection of Sberbank’s merchant acquiring network to the JCB payment system is a logical step aimed at creating comfortable conditions for the active use of JCB Cards by foreign guests and residents, and promoting business growth of merchants using Sberbank’s acquiring system.”

JCB is a Japanese card issuer that currently has more than 117 million cards in circulation. Majority of the JCB Cards are available in Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, Vietnam and China.

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The latest deal comes as the Russia Tourism Agency reported an increase of inbound tourists from these markets, and is intended to cater to the enhanced demand for servicing JCB Cards.

JCB International general director for Eurasia said: “Increasing the number of JCB Card acceptance points is a key stage in our company’s goal to create a stable base of cardholders in Russia.

“We believe that cooperation with Sberbank is a big step in the development of the JCB payment system in Russia.”