The American card and payment method companies Visa, Mastercard and American Express have decided to suspend all their operations in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine and the resulting economic uncertainty that the economic sanctions imposed by many countries around the world have caused in the country. world. A decision that has applauded the president of the United StatesJoe Biden.
Both companies have announced it in separate communications explaining that their cards already will not work for purchases from outside the countryand that the cards issued by Russian banks of these two companies will stop operating in shops and ATMs Russians.
“Effective immediately, Visa will work with its customers and partners within Russia to suspend all Visa transactions in the coming days. Once complete, all transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country and the cards Visas issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will no longer work within the Russian Federation,” the Visa statement explained.
“We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the unacceptable events we have witnessed,” said Al Kelly, Visa’s chairman and CEO.
“This war and the constant threat to peace and stability require that we respond according to our values“, he assured.
For its part, Mastercard has appealed to “the unprecedented nature of the current conflict and the uncertain economic environment” to justify its decision to suspend its network services in Russia.
“This decision stems from our recent action to block multiple financial institutions from Mastercard’s payment network, as required by regulators globally,” the company said in a statement.
With this measure, cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be compatible with the Visa and Mastercard networks. In addition, any card from both companies issued outside the country will not work at Russian ATMs or merchants.
American Express (AMEX) has joined the measure taken the day before by Visa and Mastercard. “In the light of continuous and unjustified attack of Russia against the people of UkraineAmerican Express is suspending all operations in Russia,” the company said in a statement.
As in the case of the other two companies, AMEX has explained that its cards “issued around the world will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia, while cards issued locally in Russia by Russian banks will no longer work. outside the country on the American Express global network. But the citizens with cards issued in the country, they will be able to buy within Russiaalthough your transactions will be made through other networks.
The Russian economy could contract by 7% in 2022
The decision of both entities comes a week after the United States and the European Union (EU), along with other Western partners, agreed remove “certain” Russian banks from the Swift international systemwhich accentuates Russia’s disconnection from the international financial system.
The Swift transaction system is the foundation of the global financial system and is used by 11,000 banks in 200 countries or territories to make transfers.
According to the trade publication Nilson Report, quoted by the newspaper The Wall Street Journalpayments made through Visa and Mastercard In 2020, they represented 74% of the total of this type of transactions..
The American bank JPMorgan Chase assured on Friday that it calculates that the Russian economy will contract 7% in 2022 due to the war in Ukraine, double what was anticipated a few days agoas a consequence of the sanctions imposed by the West against Moscow and the exodus of international companies from the country.