Visa and Mastercard have joined PayPal in suspending operations in Russia
Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal have all declared that they are halting operations in Russia, citing the country’s escalating invasion of Ukraine.
According to a press release, Visa will begin working to stop transactions in Russia, although it will take a few days. Mastercard announced that it would halt its network services in Russia, which invaded Ukraine with military forces at the end of February.
“Once complete, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country and any Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the Russian Federation” said Visa’s statement, which was attributed to global communications vice president Andy Gerlt.
“We were driven to act following Russia’s unjustified invasion of Ukraine, and the deplorable actions that we have observed,” stated Visa Inc. Chairman and CEO Al Kelly in a news release. We regret the impact on our valued staff, as well as our clients, partners, retailers, and cardholders in Russia. This battle, as well as the persistent threat to peace and stability, require us to act in accordance with our beliefs.”
Similarly, Mastercard announced that, in addition to barring specific Russian financial institutions, it will stop supporting any cards issued by Russian banks and will stop processing transactions from cards issued outside of Russia that are used “at Russian businesses or ATMs.”
Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov had earlier on Saturday published a letter from PayPal CEO Dan Schulman announcing a similar shutdown
PayPal spokespersons did not immediately respond to a request for comment, the suspension will “ensure that account balances are disbursed in accordance with applicable rules.”
Companies have been under public pressure to halt activities in Russia as a result of the country’s invasion. Despite entreaties from Ukrainian officials and lawmakers elsewhere, crypto firms have largely rejected efforts to arbitrarily restrict all Russian residents.
Kraken’s CEO, Jesse Powell, stated that the company will comply if legally required to (his exchange was not one Ukraine formally asked). Ukraine has requested that all Russian accounts be blocked on Coinbase, Binance, Huobi, KuCoin, Bybit, Gate.io, Whitebit, and Ukraine-based Kuna.
After the credit card processors announced their suspensions, Russia’s central bank declared in a statement that Visa and Mastercard cards will continue to work within the country.
“Operations on them are processed within the country in the National Payment Card System, and sanctions do not affect them,” the central bank said. “Customer funds on accounts linked to such cards are fully preserved and available.”
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