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Visa and Mastercard suspend operations in Russia as western sanctions continue

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Posted: Sunday, March 6, 2022. 5:58 pm CST.

By Benjamin Flowers: Since Russia’s February 24th invasion of Ukraine, the country has been hit with numerous economic sanctions and has seen a series of companies suspend their operations with the latest being the card payment giants Visa and Mastercard.

Both companies announced in close proximity of each other that they would be suspending operations in Russia, Aljazeera reported today.

Mastercard explained that its network would no longer support cards issued by Russian banks and that cards issues outside of Russia would cease to work at Russian shops or ATMs.

“We don’t take this decision lightly,” Mastercard said in a statement, adding that it made the move after discussions with customers, partners, and governments,” Mastercard said by way of a statement.

Visa’s announcement stated that its cards issued in Russia would no longer work outside of Russia and that it was working with its clients and partners to cease all Visa transactions in the country in short order.

Visa Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Al Kelly issued the statement saying, “We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed.”

Their announcement comes the day after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded for more sanctions on Russia’s financial sector. PayPal also recently announced that it has halted operations in Russia.

Meanwhile, banks in Russia have reportedly attempted to downplay the impact of Mastercard’s and Visa’s decision to suspend service, with the Russian Central Bank saying, “All Visa and Mastercard bank cards issued by Russian banks will continue to operate normally on Russian territory until their expiration date,” the Russia Central Bank said, warning Russians traveling abroad, however, that should carry alternate means of payment.”

 

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