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New banknotes unable to work with Russian ATMs for years

Source: Meduza

Russia’s new 100-ruble banknotes may take a considerable amount of time to roll out due to banking equipment manufacturers’ withdrawal from the Russian market, Kommersant reported.

According to the newspaper, Russia’s ATMs, payment terminals, and cash registers need to be “taught” — programmed — to recognize the new notes. This is usually done by the equipment’s manufacturers, but the companies NCR and Diebold Nixdorf, which manufacture 60 percent of Russia’s ATMs, have suspected servicing of Russian equipment. According to Kommersant’s sources, “given the geopolitical situation,” updating the Russian equipment is unlikely to be a priority for manufacturers, and some companies might refuse outright.

One of the experts the paper spoke to said he was certain that the process of transitioning to the new bills will take multiple years. Most likely, he was referring to the start of the transition process, because the Russian Central Bank itself has estimated that the bill replacement process will take approximately ten years.

The Association of Russian Banks asked the Central Bank to postpone the issuance of the new banknotes back in April. When presenting the new bills in late June, Central Bank Deputy Chairman Sergei Belov mentioned “market participants’ concern” about reconfiguring their equipment, vowing that the Central Bank would not set any deadlines for banks. “While the equipment adaptation process usually takes between six months and a year, this time we’re going to meet the banks where they are,” he said.