Visa announced in a statement that it will “work with its customers and partners in Russia to halt all Visa transactions in the coming days.” “All transactions initiated with Visa cards issued in Russia will cease to operate outside this country, and Visa cards issued by financial institutions outside Russia will no longer work in the Russian Federation,” the statement said.
Al Kelly, President and CEO of Visa Inc. He added, “We regret that this will have an impact on our valued partners, customers, partners, merchants and cardholders we serve in Russia,” noting that “the war and the constant threat to peace and stability require that we respond in accordance with our values.”
Payment transactions processed by Visa and Mastercard in 2020
MasterCard issued a more comprehensive announcement. “For more than a week, the world has been watching the horrific events resulting from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Our colleagues, clients and partners have been affected in ways most of us could not have imagined,” the authors of the statement wrote. Provided that this decision is supported by analysis and that the company is aware of the “unprecedented nature of the current conflict and the uncertain economic environment,” it informs the organization about the suspension of network services in Russia.
Cards issued by Russian banks will not be supported by the Mastercard network. “Any MasterCard card issued outside the country will not work at Russian merchants or at automated teller machines,” the statement clarified.
“These have been and will remain very difficult days – especially for our employees and their families in Ukraine, for our fellow relatives and friends in the region, for our colleagues in Russia, and for the rest of us looking from afar “- we read.
Among the debit and credit cards issued in Russia, Visa and Mastercard served in 2020 by 74 percent. Payment Transactions – As reported by the industry’s Nilson Report, cited by The Wall Street Journal. The newspaper, which analyzed such a scenario for several days, however, indicated that Russia may find a way to deal with the exit of the giants. This is Mir – a competitive Russian payment network that accounts for almost the rest of the market. “Thanks to this, Russians can make purchases with cards in the country. Although Visa and Mastercard do not support transactions with Sberbank cards, for example, purchases with them can be routed through the Mir network, writes the WSJ.
A year ago, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov admitted that the biggest problem with the Mir regime was the lack of foreign willingness to accept it.
Central Bank: Cards will still work in Russia
The Russian Central Bank said late in the evening that Visa and MasterCard, which were issued by Russian banks, would continue to operate in Russia until their expiration date. “Transactions contained in it are processed locally in the national payment card system and are not subject to penalties. Customer funds in accounts linked to these cards are fully restricted and available,”- the statement said.
According to the Central Bank, Visa and Mastercard holders in Russia will still be able to conduct transactions at ATMs, pay with cards and make transfers from one card to another. At the same time, the announcement stipulated that international transactions were not available. This should apply to both payments for purchases in foreign online stores and the use of such cards abroad.
Alfa-Bank: Everything will be outdated for at least three days
Mastercard and Visa are temporarily leaving Russia. what do you mean? For a few days (at least three for sure) everything will work as usual. “The purchases will take place all over the world,” Alfa-Bank, Russia’s largest private bank, said via Telegram.
After this date, Alfa-Bank’s Visa and MasterCard will continue to operate in Russia in the same way as before. Abroad – “temporarily” no. The bank recommended paying in cash to those who are currently abroad.”
Therefore, the decision to limit operations by Visa and Mastercard will not affect the work of cards (issued by Russian banks) in Russia. This is possible because all payments in Russia pass through the national NSPK system and are independent of foreign payment solutions, concluded TASS.
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