The financial services companies as well as the crypto exchanges will soon not be able to accept any transactions that are completed with the major credit cards in Russia.
This is due to the act that companies have ceased operations for users that are based in Russia. According to the latest news on Cryptocurrency, this Saturday, major credit card companies such as PayPal, Mastercard, and VISA, made the announcement that they will suspend all operations in Russia following the actions taken by the country against Ukraine.
VISA also went ahead to call the actions of Russia an “unprovoked invasion”. According to Mastercard, this decision was solely based on providing support to Ukraine. A similar announcement was made by American Express saying that operations will be stopped for both Russia as well as Belarus, a neighboring country. Not just that but the services of Apple Pay & Google Pay have also been restricted. There have also been some changes made in the policies of the companies.
Following the change in the companies’ policies, average Russians using Visa or American Express credit cards abroad or within the country would seem no longer be able to use them for everyday transactions.
Cards from Mastercard issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the company’s network, while those issued by other foreign banks “will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs.” “We don’t take this decision lightly,” said Mastercard, which has operated in Russia for more than 25 years.
However, Russia’s central bank issued a statement on Sunday saying both Mastercard and Visa cards would “continue to operate in Russia as usual until their expiration date,” with users able to use ATMs and make payments.
It’s unclear how the Central Bank of Russia reached this conclusion given the statements from the credit card companies, but it acknowledged that cross-border payments and using the cards in person abroad would not be possible.
Though the companies did not provide an exact timeline on when operations would cease entirely, at least one cryptocurrency exchange warned users of the change, which is likely to affect many Russian users. On Tuesday, Binance announced starting on Wednesday, the exchange would no longer be able to take payments from Mastercard and Visa cards issued in Russia — the company doesn’t accept American Express.
People in Russia React to Credit Card Bans
Presumably, all consumers wishing to buy crypto through an exchange with a credit card issued in Russia from one of these companies will be unable to do so soon, though peer-to-peer transactions would seemingly still be available.
There were mixed reactions from social media on the decision, with many claiming the credit card companies could help Ukraine by hurting Russia economically, but at the expense of civilians who had no say in their country’s military actions.
“Preventing Russian citizens who are trying to flee Russia from accessing their money is a crime,” mentioned Marty Bent who is the co-founder of Great American Mining, that is a crypto mining firm. “Visa and Mastercard [are digging] their own graves by politicizing their products and pushing people all over the world toward Bitcoin.”
Also Read: Japan is trying to Prevent sanctioned Russian Organizations from Exchanging Crypto
“For somebody staying in Russia the cards keep working, but you can’t leave because you’ll not be able to pay for anything,” Inna, a Twitter user said. She claimed to be living in Moscow. “Putin approves.”
While cutting off Visa and Mastercard is a seemingly significant blow to Russia and its residents, reports suggest the country may turn to Chinese payment systems like UnionPay — accepted by peer-to-peer cryptocurrency exchange Paxful.
Russia’s central bank also has its own Mir cards for payments domestically and in nine countries including Belarus and Vietnam. According to the latest news on Cryptocurrency, the regulators have not yet managed to issue the guidelines on the crypto exchanges.
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