The world's leading credit cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be accepted outside the country, while those issued abroad will not be valid for transactions, it was announced over the weekend.
The separate decisions by the United States companies were prompted by Russia's military actions in Ukraine.
Effective immediately, Visa will work with its clients and partners within Russia to cease all Visa transactions over the coming days. 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, a statement from Visa said.
Mastercard too explained its decision in a statement posted on its website. According to the document, the company has decided to suspend our network services in Russia amid the current anti-Russian sanctions. With this action, cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the Mastercard network, the company said. MC cards issued outside Russia will cease to work at local stores and ATMs. Mastercard also said it will work to restore operations when it is appropriate, and if it is permissible under the law.
And American Express halted its operations in Russia and also in Belarus, the company said in yet a statement on its website. In light of developments around Ukraine, American Express is suspending all operations in Russia. As a result, globally issued American Express cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia, the company said. Additionally, cards issued locally in Russia by Russian banks will no longer work outside of the country on the American Express global network. We are also terminating all business operations in Belarus, American Express added.
On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched a military operation into Ukraine, allegedly in defense of two rogue provinces who autonomously declared their independence from Kyiv, after which the US, EU, and the UK, as well as several other countries, announced they were imposing financial sanctions against Russia and some of its citizens.