MasterCard and Visa Block in Russia will not stop domestic purchases | Banking

Russia’s government-backed network says consumers can still use MasterCard and Visa stamp cards for domestic transactions, reducing the impact on US companies. Decided to pull services On the invasion of Ukraine.

Mir cardholders will say that Russia is a domestic payment system Can still access their fundsWithdrawals and domestic transfers – at least until their bank cards expire.

Mir has processed most of the domestic payments Russia Since 2015, foreign operators such as Visa and MasterCard have been conducting international transactions. In 2014, the country’s central bank set up a 100% owned operator on a government order to protect the economy against the sanctions imposed on Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

“All cards of these payment systems already issued by Russian banks will continue to operate within our country as before,” the Mirin operator said early Sunday morning.

“Until the end of their validity period, Visa and MasterCard cardholders will have access to all funds in their accounts, as well as all regular payment transactions – such as making purchases, transferring money from card to card, and withdrawing money.”

The report was released shortly after US companies announced On Saturday, they will suspend Russian operations in light of Moscow’s continued military offensive in Ukraine.

On Sunday, the American Express announced that it would suspend all operations in Russia and Belarus. “In light of the unjustified attack on the people of Russia Ukraine, American Express suspends all operations in Russia, ”the credit card company said in a statement on its website. “We are suspending all business activities in Belarus.”

MasterCard and Decision to suspend visa Their Russian operations will primarily affect foreign payments, meaning that local consumers will no longer be able to use their Russian cards overseas or international charges online. Foreign customers will be barred from making payments to Russian companies or withdrawing money within the country.

“Payments made abroad, including overseas internet resources, are not available with Visa and MasterCard International Payment System cards issued by Russian banks,” Mir confirmed.

The move is expected to accelerate Russian banks’ acceptance of Mirin’s own cards, which have been adopted in some countries, including Turkey, Vietnam, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

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Mir said demand for its cards had already increased since the US, EU and UK imposed sanctions on Russian banks on Saturday. According to its own statistics, as of September 2021, more than half of Russians already have a Mir card, which accounts for 32% of all transactions.

The upswing is likely to play into the fears of critics that sanctions will prompt Russia to invest in alternative projects. Similar concerns have been raised Preventing Russia from Swift – Secure news system used by banks for cross-border payments – and the potential rise of alternatives such as Russia’s equivalent SPFS system.

PayPal on Wednesday stopped accepting new customers in Russia and expanded that volume on Saturday, saying its services – primarily customers transferring money to each other – had been suspended. It added that it would allow the withdrawal “for a period of time, ensuring that the account balances are disbursed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations”.

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