According to the reports, Visa and Mastercard are halting operations in Russia, dealing another severe blow to the country’s financial sector.
According to a statement on Visa’s website, the corporation is coordinating with Russian partners to “stop all transactions in the coming days.” Mastercard’s second press release bears a similar message, saying that the company is suspending operations in Russia and that the decision was not made lightly. Both firms indicate that transactions conducted with Mastercard or Visa cards issued by Russian banks would not be accepted outside the nation, and that cards issued by foreign banks will not be accepted at Russian merchants or ATMs.
According to sources, anyone with a card issued in Russia will still be able to pay for products and services using Mastercard or Visa cards, but neither financial institution will process the transactions; instead, Russia’s National Payment Card System (NSPK) will be responsible.
Visa and Mastercard made their announcements shortly after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with US lawmakers and requested that both companies suspend operations in Russia. “I am pleased to learn that Mastercard and Visa will immediately suspend all operations in Russia,” Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) tweeted following his meeting with Zelensky.
Visa and Mastercard suspended select Russian banks from their networks earlier this week in response to the US-imposed financial sanctions on the country. “This decision follows our recent action to restrict access to the Mastercard payment network to multiple financial institutions, as required by global regulators,” Mastercard says.
Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last month, the US and European Union blocked several Russian banks from the critical global financial system SWIFT. Sanctions have also prevented some Russian consumers from using Apple Pay or Google Pay, with PayPal suspending operations in the country early this morning. Other large corporations, including Samsung, Microsoft, Apple, and Google, have ceased doing business with Russia.