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Visa and Mastercard unite PayPal in halting services in Russia

3 min reading

The payment processors revealed the decision on Saturday, citing Russia's incursion of Ukraine as the cause.

Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal have all stated that they are restricting operations in Russia, noting the country's escalating invasion of Ukraine.

According to a news report, Visa will start seeking to halt transactions in Russia, though it will require some days. Mastercard stated that it would discontinue 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," as per a release from Visa's global communications vice president Andy Gerlt.

Visa Inc. Chairman and CEO Al Kelly stated in a press release that the organization "was compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed. We regret the impact this will have on our valued colleagues, and on the clients, partners, merchants and cardholders we serve in Russia. This war and the ongoing threat to peace and stability demand we respond in line with our values.”

Meanwhile, Mastercard announced that moreover restricting several Russian financial institutions, it will stop backing any cards provided by Russian banks and will halt accepting transactions from cards issued outside of Russia that are used "at Russian merchants or ATMs."

On Saturday, Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov posted a letter from PayPal CEO Dan Schulman indicating a similar suspension.

PayPal representatives did not respond but according to Reuters, the suspension will "ensure that account balances are dispersed in line with applicable laws."

Companies have been facing public demand to halt activities in Russia as a result of the country's war. Despite efforts from Ukrainian authorities and legislators throughout the world, crypto companies have widely rejected efforts to arbitrarily restrict all Russian residents.

Kraken's CEO, Jesse Powell, stated that the company would adhere if lawfully required to (his exchange was not one Ukraine formally asked for). 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 release that Visa and Mastercard cards will keep working within Russia.

"Operations on them are processed within the country in the National Payment Card System, and sanctions do not affect them," the central bank added. "Customer funds on accounts linked to such cards are fully preserved and available."

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