Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc are suspending their operations in Russia, a coordinated attempt that threatens to further isolate the economy from the international community following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine.
In separate statements that arrived within minutes of each other on Saturday, Visa cited “Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed,” while Mastercard referred to the “unprecedented nature of the current conflict and the uncertain economic environment.”
Each company gets about 4% of its net revenue from business linked to Russia.
The decisions come hours after Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called on the companies to halt all business in Russia during a video call with US lawmakers. Representative Brad Sherman, a California Democrat who’s a member of the House Financial Services Committee, tweeted after the call that he agreed with the Ukrainian leader.
Visa and Mastercard said any transactions initiated with their cards issued in Russia will no longer work outside the country, while any cards issued outside of Russia won’t work at Russian merchants or ATMs.
Visa noted that consumers in Russia who have a card issued in that country can still pay for goods and services there, but the company won’t process the transactions. That will be down to Russia’s National Payment Card System, or NSPK.
Visa and Mastercard products issued by Russian banks will continue to work until they expire, the Russian central bank said in a statement.
© 2022 Bloomberg