U.S. Credit Card Companies Block Services To Russian Banks

Visa, Mastercard, and American Express blocked Russian banks after sanctions. IMG Source: MoneySmart Philippines

MANILA, Philippines — Visa, Mastercard, and American Express said that they have blocked major Russian banks and financial institutions from their payment networks in response to sanctions after Russia’s continuous bombardment towards Ukraine.

In a statement released on Monday, Mastercard Chief Executive Michael Miebach said that they have “blocked multiple financial institutions” from its payment network. It is in accordance with the imposed sanctions by the U.S. government and other countries.

“We will continue to work with regulators in the days ahead to abide fully by our compliance obligations as they evolve,” Mastercard said

On the other hand Visa has also suspended access to financial firms that are included on the sanction list and will take further take actions to comply with the sanctions.

“Visa is taking prompt action to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions, and is prepared to comply with additional sanctions that may be implemented.” Visa said in a statement.

Both Visa and Mastercard have pledged $2 million each toward humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, American Express said although its market in Russia was “small”, it pointed that they have been following the sanctions by U.S. and other countries.

Last Saturday, U.S., Britain, Canada, and European allies have announced to impose new sanctions on Russia including the removal of Russian banks into the interbank system, SWIFT.

This signifies that Russian banks will be unable to connect securely with banks located outside of the country.

Sources: France24, Reuters

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