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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Union Card Accepts Criticism

Union Card, one of the largest card-payment companies in Russia, has seemingly welcomed the news that its main customer, Europay International, has cut Union Card off from its payment system.

Last week, Europay International, which manages the Master Card, Cirrus, Eurocard, and Maestro brands in Europe, cut Union Card off after accusing the Russian company of allowing a crime ring to penetrate Moscow's ATM network and access the bank accounts of more than 200 unsuspecting victims.

If the suspended cooperation proves permanent, it could be a crippling blow to Union Card, which has no other major international clients. However, in an official statement, Union Card supported Europay's move, saying that the cutoff was a precautionary measure taken to insure extra safety in a risky business environment.

"Union Card considers the action of the Europay International payments system in temporarily suspending its processing operations ... to be wholly justified," said an official company statement released last week in response to Europay's accusations.

"At present, Union Card is conducting a wide range of urgent actions to increase security throughout its processing network with the active support of Europay International," the statement continued.

Europay, for its part, gave a less upbeat assessment of the current state of its business relationship with Union Card.

"I really doubt that we will have that much more involvement with Union Card at this point," said Richard Tischler, a company spokesman, speaking by telephone from Waterloo, Belgium, last week. "The ball is really in their court to prove that they can meet our security standards."