How to get a Visa and Mastercard in Kyrgyzstan
How to open a bank card Visa and Mastercard in Kyrgyzstan for Russians in 2022? Which banks are loyal to non-residents? Where can I get a card with a power of attorney? Card issue prices, annual maintenance, deposit amount. Is it worth going for a Kyrgyz bank card or is it better to get a Belarusian, Kazakh one? Where can I transfer money without any problems?
|C 25.08-10.09 action with a cashback of 20% for tours of Russia. You need to register your MIR card and book a tour at Level.Travel (promocode for 1500 ₽ on purchase from 70,000 ₽ – LT-SEPT-RU1) or Travelinka (promocode for 1000 ₽ on purchase from 60,000 ₽ – AF1000travelinka). It’s better if you take a tour, because that way you get cashback on everything – flight, hotel, and transfers.|
Kyrgyzstan is quite loyal to non-residents for issuing cards to Russians. Their Visa and Mastercard will not fall under sanctions . Bank cards in local soms can be deposited directly through the application Sber or Tinkoff. Also, the cards of the national system ELKART are issued here.
It is possible to issue a card by proxy, without personal presence. The cards are issued on a passport with a stamp of arrival (not more than 30 days). But not all banks (about this below). Some started to ask either residence permit or documents on the opening of a company.
Prices are in the national currency of Kyrgyzstan – soms (KZS). As of 2022 1 KGS = 0.72 ₽.
|You can apply for a Kyrgyzstan bank card without leaving Russia here. The card works worldwide. It takes longer to issue a Kyrgyzstan card remotely than it does in Belarus or Kazakhstan. Under the terms of the Kyrgyz banks, one person can only apply for one bank card at a time by proxy. The person has to go to the bank 3 times. It is important that he didn’t disappear during that time. That’s why it’s easier to get a card from Belarus or Kazakhstan. If you need a bank card, it is better to hurry up, because for example Uzbekistan completely abolished the issuance of cards by proxy (now you can get only in person).|
How to get to Kyrgyzstan now
Kyrgyzstan is open for Russians. No visa is required. There are no restrictions associated with Covid-19! There are flights from Moscow twice a day (morning and evening). There are also convenient flights from Russian regions.
You can enter Kyrgyzstan with a Russian passport. In this case they do not put a stamp in your passport and the tourist data is entered into the electronic database. But it is better to take a passport and put a stamp. This stamp you need to get a bank card Visa or Mastercard in Kyrgyzstan. The period of visa-free stay in the country for Russians is 30 days.
Also the passport will be useful to check the transliteration of the name on the bank card. The spelling of the name and surname in the passport and on the card must match.
The advantages of Kyrgyz bank cards Visa and Mastercard
- Visa and Mastercard with Platinum and Gold cards that work worldwide. Without restrictions you can pay for purchases, restaurant bills, and make paid subscriptions to foreign services.
- There are no sanctions and no risk of them being imposed (as in Belarus). There are no problems with currency transfers and withdrawals from any ATMs in the world.
- There are no huge deposits, like in Georgia or Turkey.
- Mobile applications in Russian, where you can bind a Russian SIM card (not all banks)
- Loyal attitude to Russians and citizens of CIS.
- Accounts in dollars, euros, soms. Personal multicurrency cards.
- Replenishment via SWIFT, Zolotoy Korona, ELSOM, QIWI, crypto.
- Fee for cash withdrawal up to 5% (ATMs can issue immediately dollars).
Banks of Kyrgyzstan
Which banks in Kyrgyzstan can give cards to Russians? There are 22 banks in Kyrgyzstan; more than half of them are ready to issue cards for Russians. But each bank has its own nuances.
Regulations are constantly tightening, they introduce a commission for foreign currency accounts, asking to explain the purpose of payment for SWIFT. Credit cards are not issued to non-residents, only debit cards. And the credit card is needed, for example, to rent a car abroad in an international office. Kyrgyz banks, amid a rush, impose high commissions, become less client-oriented, and the support service is lame.
You can open a bank card in Kyrgyzstan in Aiyl Bank. Non-residents are issued Mastercard Gold, Classic, ELKART. Deposit 9 €, annual service 7 $. Accelerated receipt of a card 7 $. The validity period of the received cards is 5 years. Rubles can be sent directly from the application Sber or Tinkoff, come to ELKART in KZS. According to the latest information, payments in dollars go through the correspondent bank Transcapitalbank, which fell under sanctions. Therefore, Mastercard cards stopped working.
To pay online, you need to connect the “internet payments” option. Convenient application, the limit for outgoing SWIFT from the application 6000 $ per day, 24000 $ per month. Replenishment via SWIFT and Gold Crown.
Commercial Bank of Kyrgyzstan.
You can get a bank card in Kyrgyzstan in the Commercial Bank of Kyrgyzstan. There is a branch even in Moscow. But the card can only be issued in Kyrgyzstan. Issued by Visa Classic, Elkart, Visa Standart Travel. The cost of Visa Classic for non-residents is 350 KZS ($6 or €8). Maintenance per year $4. For cards Visa Standart Travel cost of issuance of $ 9, annual service $ 15. ELKART issue free of charge.
Open accounts in soms, dollars, euros. Card delivery in Bishkek and throughout Kyrgyzstan.
It is possible to get a bank card in Kyrgyzstan in KICB Bank. They open current accounts with a foreign passport with a stamp of arrival. Non-residents can open a regular card and premium Gold. Visa Classic maintenance is $5 per year, ATM cash withdrawal fee 1.5%, but not less than $3. The daily limit of $4,000. The card is issued for 3 years. You can link your Russian phone number. The card must be connected to the “Internet Banking” option right away.
The disadvantages are that there is no mobile application. Outgoing SWIFT can be sent only through the branch. The card is issued within 7 working days, surcharge for urgent issue of 600 KZS (2 days). Cash withdrawal fee in ATMs of KICB is 0.5%, fee in other ATMs – 1.5%.
Russian citizens can get Kyrgyz bank cards at Bakai Bank. Accounts can be opened in no time and are free of charge. All you need is a passport with a stamp of arrival. There are multi-currency cards for non-residents; there are Classic cards. Visa Classic has a withdrawal limit of $2,300 per day ($100 deposit for issuing a card), Visa Gold $6,000 per day (you can increase the limit to $12,000 per day), Visa Platinum. The deposit is refunded only when closing the account. In the application you can bind a Russian phone number, you can send outgoing transfers SWIFT.
The card is issued in 7 days, urgent in 3 days (extra charge for urgency $10). Canceled the issuance of cards by proxy. Can replenish through SWIFT. It is convenient to use Tinkoff by a telephone number.
You can get a card of a bank of Kyrgyzstan in Demir Bank. Accounts for non-residents may be opened with a passport with a stamp of arrival within the last 30 days. Account opening costs 306 KZS. The card takes 10 days. There is an urgent issue card, receiving the next day. The Kyrgyz SIM-card is not required. A handy application with expense control.
Recently the registration in Kyrgyzstan is required. ATM fee of 5% for the issuance of currency. You can withdraw immediately in dollars. A day limit of $480.
The card of the Kyrgyzstan bank can be opened in Optima Bank. The deadline for issuing cards Visa is 2 working days, they also issue cards Visa Optima Gold (1000 KZS), Visa Infinite and Visa Optima Platinum (7000 KZS). For a long time we opened bank accounts for non-residents (100 KZS for each account). But they tightened the screws.
Now you need a residence permit, an employment contract or founding documents of a company in Kirzigiya. It is possible to link a Russian SIM card. There is a good mobile application. Outgoing SWIFT can only be sent through a branch.
You can order online Visa Gold and Classic, ELCART card with delivery in Bishkek. Outgoing SWIFT can be sent only through a branch.
Cards by proxy are not issued, only in person. The limit for transfers is $100 per day.
How to refill cards in Kyrgyzstan
- It is advantageous to send large sums of money by SWIFT transfer. Minimal fee. The transfer takes 1-15 days.
- Medium amounts can be replenished by the payment system Zolotaya Corona. The transfer comes instantly. It is best to send remittances in rubles, then there will be an exchange rate ruble – som – dollar. Approximately 3-4%.
- Small amounts can be transferred through the ELSOM card. Transfer from Sber and Tinkoff comes within an hour. Rubles are immediately converted to KZS.
Card costs in Kyrgyzstan
Let’s calculate approximate costs, how much money will be needed to open a bank card in Kyrgyzstan, if you go there by yourself.
- Airfare Moscow – Bishkek and back from 18,000 ₽. You can probably find cheaper, but this is the average cost. . Unnamed card can be obtained same-day, if there are no problems with plastic. An urgent card in 2 days. Regular issuance up to 7-10 days. Room in a 3* hotel in Bishkek 2.500 ₽ per night.
- Urgency fee of 650 ₽.
- SIM card 500 ₽.
- Deposit 6,500 ₽.
Total of 28,100 ₽ provided that you will be in Bishkek one night. But you will probably have to stay longer. If you don’t book your return ticket in a week, you may risk missing your card. Plus food, transportation, and other expenses. That’s a minimum of 40,000 ₽ for the most optimistic forecasts.
- Our trusted partner Travelbelka can help you save time and money on your flight to Kyrgyzstan. Card registration by proxy, home delivery in Russia through CDEK. All officially, you get the contract and check. We recommend.
After you receive a card in the bank of Kyrgyzstan you have to notify the tax office via a personal account on the website nalog.ru. If you do not file within 30 days, you have to pay a fine of ₽1000 for each bill.
We told about how to get a bank card Visa and Mastercard in Kyrgyzstan in 2022. So far, this is one of the available options on how you can become a holder of plastic that is accepted all over the world. Now you know about the cost of processing and servicing bank cards, urgency fees, and other costs.
Russians are hooked on virtual bank cards
Photo: Emin Dzhafarov / Kommersant / Legion-Media
After Visa and MasterCard left, Russians began to seek workarounds for purchases from foreign merchants. While some went to open accounts with banks in neighboring countries, others used the services of fintech projects that issue virtual cards remotely. However, the risk of losing money lurks behind the convenience of using these services. One of these projects, Bankoff, has already shut down and disappeared along with tens of thousands of Russians’ dollars.
One of the most discussed fintech projects that came to the aid of Russians was Bankoff. It allowed users to create virtual cards and pay for foreign services. The fintech, which was launched by a team from Azerbaijan, was serviced by Visa and Stripe payment systems. It was free to issue a virtual card, but there was a 4% fee for transfers from a credit or debit card. A 2.3% fee was charged for currency conversion.
At the same time, such a card could be credited with cryptocurrency without interest, which most Russians used to buy crypto on the P2P market. The cards were successfully linked to Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, and PayPal.
However, after an influx of users from Russia, the service announced on May 3 that it had stopped working: “Today we received a letter from Visa and Stripe saying that Bankoff card service has been stopped due to the large number of active users and transactions from Russia. This means that our cards are no longer supported for any offline or online payments.”
The company assured that it was trying to get access to the frozen funds in the U.S. account. However, in fact, Bankoff disappeared along with the users’ money. At the same time, on May 3, the service’s cryptocurrency wallet twice withdrew money: $69,234 and $48,791.
An initiative group of affected customers collected data on the losses of Russians. It estimated that at least $117,000 (about 7.5 million rubles) was stuck in the accounts of Bankoff Russian customers. An official response from Stripe told the initiative group that Bankoff was blocked not because of the Russians, but because the company listed its activities as “Platform Development,” but in fact worked in Fintech. Activists told the “Company” that they intend to seek the return of funds through interaction with all parties.
After blocking Bankoff, many users migrated to the BitFree service, which also offers to set up a virtual card through Stripe. The fintech’s website claims the company is registered in Hong Kong. First, the user needs to fund a cryptocurrency wallet (issued individually, but managed by BitFree), from which they can transfer money to a virtual card through a personal account. Unlike Bankoff, the operation takes no more than half an hour, but this service is not reliable. After a sharp influx of users from Russia, the issue of virtual cards is no longer free. On May 9, the management of the project set the bar to 5 dollars, and two days later raised it to 30 dollars. In this case, was introduced and the minimum amount to replenish such a card – $ 50. Officially, BitFree has existed for several years, but the social networks of the project is empty, and the application has only two reviews on the App Store for all time.
In the section about the project’s team there are fake photos that belong to other people.
For example, after running a Google search for a photo of the alleged “co-founder of Kevan,” we find out that it is actually the avatar of the author of the Medium blog, Tom Redman.
And the photo of “co-founder Dave” was taken from Californian developer Michael Erasmus. Most importantly, the user has no control over their funds sent to BitFree.
On the morning of May 12, users encountered rejections when attempting to make any BitFree virtual card payment. Ten hours later, judging by customer feedback, the problem was resolved. However, it is unknown how long the service will work before it disappears after Bankoff.
Another fintech that became popular after Bankoff was blocked. The user acquires a virtual debit card with the right amount on the account via cryptocurrency. In this case, these cards do not have the ability to recharge, for each next purchase will need to issue a new prepaid card.
The project team is public, the fintech itself has pages in social networks in 2019, when the launch was announced.
However, the service has a significant disadvantage: it can only be used to pay for purchases in American online stores. But PayWithMoon manages to pay for Spotify, Airbnb, Ebay, Steam, and so on.
The virtual card can only be purchased from a Coinbase exchange account or a Lightning Network bitcoin wallet. The maximum recharge amount is $1,000.
EzzoCard virtual cards are issued by Canadian and U.S. banks and serviced by Visa or MasterCard payment systems. Among the pluses: the user can apply for a card even under a false name because the service does not require identification. It can be purchased with the help of cryptocurrency or via Perfect Money.
The card can be registered under any name, including a fictitious one, as the service does not check user’s personal data. You can also use anonymous payment methods – for example, with the help of cryptocurrency.
The user receives the card in a few minutes after the payment. However, the service has a very high commission (from 16% to 300%). The cheapest prepaid card Visa Black for $5 will cost the customer $16.99, the card for $10 costs $20.99 and so on.
All of the above-mentioned fintech projects are not a full-fledged replacement for traditional bank cards and carry serious risks of losing money. It is highly discouraged to keep large sums of money on virtual cards. Kompaniya” magazine also told in detail about how to issue a classic plastic card Visa in neighboring countries.