PDA

View Full Version : Sberbank bank card terminal problems for foreign Visas



Kamchatka Explorer
26-04-2011, 10:06
Hey I live in Kamchatka now for many years and suddenly about 2 months ago my perfectly good platinum Bank of America Visa card is unacceptable at any Sberbank terminals for purchases of goods or services. This means instead of buying groceries or plane tickets or whatever with my card, I must withdraw the cash in rubles first. This of course means I pay a fat % to the bank in Russia as well as to my US bank. I've tested it out in Kamchatka, and it is only with terminals from Sberbank, not from other banks. Today a colleague arrived from the US and when trying to pay Aeroflot for her excess baggage to fly to Kamchatka, their Sberbank terminal refused her, even after she called her US bank to verify there was not a problem with her card.
I'm wondering if other expats are having similar problems in Moscow or other Russian cities. When I called Sberbank about 3 weeks ago to register this problem, they assured me that all international Visa cards are accepted by their terminals. They took down the addresses of the stores where I tried to purchase and promised to fix it. However today's experience with Aeroflot in Moscow by my colleague makes me suspicious that this is a new policy by Sberbank to get more banking fees from us when we have to withdraw cash.
Does anyone have a similar experience elsewhere? I'm hoping to document this and see if we can get it changed.

Remington
26-04-2011, 10:29
I ran into this problem with some shops in Ukraine and Russia since they have their own banks which processes the credit/debit cards. Some banks will accept foreign credit/debit cards and others will simply reject it immediately. There is nothing wrong with your bank or your card.

It's good idea to have different credit/debit cards just in case if your main card is rejected.

BTW... I have BoA card too.

tgma
26-04-2011, 12:05
I think the problem may be with some of the card processing companies that stand between the banks and Visa - when Sberbank tries to get money from your card, they contact a processing agent in Russia, not the Bank of America, and it's probably this agent that is the problem. Something like their commission agreement with Bank of America expiring without being renewed. There's nothing that you, or Bank of America can do about this.
My only suggestion is to get a card from another issuer - I know this is annoying and inconvenient, but sometimes the world doesn't bend to our every desire, especially in Russia. I have a local bank account with Raiffeisen, and just transfer cash in.

ilya25
27-04-2011, 14:39
Hey I live in Kamchatka now for many years and suddenly about 2 months ago my perfectly good platinum Bank of America Visa card is unacceptable at any Sberbank terminals for purchases of goods or services. This means instead of buying groceries or plane tickets or whatever with my card, I must withdraw the cash in rubles first. This of course means I pay a fat % to the bank in Russia as well as to my US bank. I've tested it out in Kamchatka, and it is only with terminals from Sberbank, not from other banks. Today a colleague arrived from the US and when trying to pay Aeroflot for her excess baggage to fly to Kamchatka, their Sberbank terminal refused her, even after she called her US bank to verify there was not a problem with her card.
I'm wondering if other expats are having similar problems in Moscow or other Russian cities. When I called Sberbank about 3 weeks ago to register this problem, they assured me that all international Visa cards are accepted by their terminals. They took down the addresses of the stores where I tried to purchase and promised to fix it. However today's experience with Aeroflot in Moscow by my colleague makes me suspicious that this is a new policy by Sberbank to get more banking fees from us when we have to withdraw cash.
Does anyone have a similar experience elsewhere? I'm hoping to document this and see if we can get it changed.

I'd suggest to log a query with BoA and request them to investigate. The card should work everywhere

tvadim133
27-04-2011, 15:01
However today's experience with Aeroflot in Moscow by my colleague makes me suspicious that this is a new policy by Sberbank to get more banking fees from us when we have to withdraw cash.
Does anyone have a similar experience elsewhere? I'm hoping to document this and see if we can get it changed.

I do not think that it is a dirty game or smth like this.

The problem can be with data transmission (your bank somehow is not recognized in terminals of point of sales, but recognized within the banks net).

How Sbernabk can influence Aeroflot or Perekrestok not to accept your card?

Or what is the connection between Sberbank and yours?

You can take money from any bankmachine (i am sure in your area there can be some more than 1).

VISA or Mastercard are operational systems which connect different banks and point of sales together.

My suggestions are:

to call VISA to clear up the situation.

AstarD
27-04-2011, 15:09
I second that recommendation. It is likely they blocked your card or the transaction because it was in Russia. It's happened to me several times, despite my having asked them to specify on my account that I live here and most transactions will take place here.