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Uzbekistan Banks Stop On-Line Payments through VISA, Mastercard

Monday 11 February 2013

(CA-NEWS) – Uzbekistan has blocked on-line payments through international cards. The decision was taken to prevent cash withdrawals abroad and foreign currency import to fuel black market in Uzbekistan.

Uzbekistan banks are prohibited on-line operations through VISA and MasterCard given by conversion departments to buy non-cash foreign currency, Uzbek Radio Ozodlik said on February 10.

This decision touches only international cards opened for conversion operations, i.e. for foreign currency purchase in Uzbek banks according to official exchange rate, Uzbek banker Orif Khoshimov told Radio Ozodlik.

“Currently banks use mostly VISA Exchange, Visa Travel or MasterCard Travel for conversion operations. Some functions of these cards are limited. Especially those which are connected with cash and on-line payments. It sets aside all Uzbekistan payment cards, it concerns only cards for conversion operations,” the banker added.

 “Limitations of on-line payments were adopted in order to prevent speculations. But in my opinion, it won’t give results soon, and we’ll have to use market methods, which means devaluation,” Orif Khoshimov predicted.

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