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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

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Can I make regular payments by automated transfer from a Russian bank account?

Consumers in Moscow can safely forget about paying their rent or phone bills, since automatic fixed payments may now be set up at such local banks as Guta, ING, Citibank and Alfa.

Guta offers fixed automatic payments at no additional cost to customers if payment recipients are already part of its system. For example, payments for long-distance telephone calls can be arranged for free. There is a 0.2 percent commission fee for automatic transfers to payment recipients outside Guta's and ING's systems.

Guta's minimum commission is 5 rubles for a ruble account and $20 for a dollar account transfer, with a maximum of 200 rubles and $200, respectively. ING's minimum transfer charges are 30 rubles and $10, and maximums are set at 300 rubles and $100.

Citibank can make automatic payments for telephone bills in Moscow, as well as to major mobile operators at no extra cost. Payments to other businesses or individuals can be made for a commission of 1 percent.

Citibank's minimum transfer fees are 10 rubles and $30, while maximums are set at 500 rubles and $300. Charges may vary, according to whether automated payments are set up at a branch, by telephone or online.

Alfa also offers a fixed payments service and is working on a way for customers to pay varying amounts each month.

-- By Maria Levitov