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Founded in 1990 and headquartered in Moscow, the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is the central bank of the Russian Federation and serves as the policy bank of the Russian financial system. CBR is responsible for supervising Russian banking operations, currency issues, credit, settlement, and stabilizing national currency, that helps guide the development trends of the Russian financial industry. CBR aims to protect the stability of the rouble, developing and strengthening the banking systems in Russia, as well as providing efficient and smooth settlement systems.
Although Russia is a prominent economy, it does not have a comprehensive payment system. Its bank card payment service has been monopolized by international vendors for a long time. Of all domestic transactions in the country, 80% are beyond the supervision of the Russian financial system.
Due to the long-term reliance on foreign payment systems, Russia experienced fluctuations in economic activities, for example, in March 2014, an overseas card payment company unexpectedly stopped providing payment and settlement services for Russia. This brought about considerable disruption as there were no alternative convenient payment methods and, consequently, large amounts of cash had to be carried around for day-to-day expenses. Some cross-border transactions and settlements encountered difficulties and, furthermore, export trades such as oil and petroleum exports were greatly affected.
Faced with the serious economic situation and urgent needs on security, the Russian president, Putin officially signed a law to formulate a national payment system construction plan in May 2014. Based on the plan, a national payment settlement and clearing center, the National System of Payment Cards (NSPC), fully owned by the CBR, was built. NSPC is responsible for processing all bank card payment services and online transactions in Russia. In addition, it serves as a central processing center of international card payment systems, which enables Russian payment services to run separately, ensuring the security and stability of Russia’s financial economy.
Intra-city active-active data centers were built in Moscow. The two data centers are 70 km apart and are synchronized in real time at six layers. The network, storage, and service layers implement a real service-level active-active data center solution. If one data center fails, the other automatically takes over services. No manual intervention is required.
Huawei provides all ICT series including hundreds of x86 servers, 2.8 PB storage space, and data communications products. When the peak transaction count reaches 3,000 per second, the response latency is required to be within 10 ms.
As banks gradually switch to the NSPC, servers with scale-out architecture and the converged storage solution must meet business development requirements within the next 5 to 10 years.
With solid experience in servicing and helping bank unions, Huawei customized a plan for the NSPC. The localized delivery team can respond to any problems within 6 hours and provide timely solutions within one or two days.
The NSPC is used to process all bank card transactions in Russia, covering 16 large cities, providing payment services of more than 70 banks, and works in partnership with international payment systems such as VISA and Master Card.
Huawei and its partners took less than half a year to deploy the NSPC from October 2014 to April 2015.
The system provides a stable payment service on a 24/7 basis, ensuring that 10 million transactions are processed alongside millions of bank cards being issued smoothly every day with zero interruption.
“The NSPC of CBR undertakes the mission of national finance stability, so system reliability is critical. We are very grateful to Huawei for successful delivery of the data center and the timely NSPC rollout in such a short period. Huawei demonstrates high professionalism and rich experience in this project.”
— Sergey Bochkarev, NSPC Deputy CEO