PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard suspend operations in Russia

MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal all announced Saturday they are suspending operations in Russia due to the country's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

PayPal, Visa, and Mastercard suspend operations in Russia

MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal all announced Saturday they are suspending operations in Russia due to the country's ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

It will take a few days for Visa to stop processing transactions in Russia, according to a press release.

MasterCard announced the suspension of all its network services in the country that sent military forces into Ukraine at the end of February.

"All payments initiated with Russian-issued Visa cards will no longer work outside the country, and Visa cards issued abroad will be ineligible to be used in Russia," Visa's statement said, as attributed to global communications vice president Andy Gerlt.

Al Kelly, Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc, wrote in the press release that his company felt compelled to act because of Russia's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the unacceptable events unfolding in the country.

"There will be a negative impact on the clients, partners, merchants, and cardholders we serve in Russia as well as on our valued colleagues. We must respond in line with our values to this war and the ongoing threat to peace and stability," Kelly said.

Similarly, Mastercard said it would stop supporting cards issued by Russian banks and block transactions made with cards issued outside of Russia but used at Russian ATMs and merchants.

Mykhailo Fedorov, the Ukrainian Vice Prime Minister, announced PayPal’s shutdown earlier on Saturday.

Reuters reports that PayPal did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but stated that account balances would be disbursed as per applicable laws in the event of a shutdown.

Due to Russia's invasion, corporations have faced public pressure to cease operations there. Ukrainian officials and lawmakers elsewhere have entreated cryptocurrency companies not to unilaterally block all Russian residents.

Jesse Powell, CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, said his company would do so if legally required (Kraken wasn't one of the exchanges Ukraine formally requested).

Several crypto platforms have been ordered to block all Russian accounts, including Binance, Huobi, KuCoin, Bybit, Gateio, Whitebit, and Kuna, a Ukrainian company.

Despite the suspensions of credit card processors, Visa and Mastercard cards continue to work in Russia according to a statement from the Russian central bank.

The National Payment Card System processes their transactions in-country, and sanctions do not apply to them, the central bank said. The funds on the accounts linked to these credit cards will be available to the customer. Cross-border transactions will not be possible.