Visa and Mastercard pull out of Russia

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Visa and Mastercard, the two main payment processors and debit and credit card providers globally, are suspending operations in Russia after the country invaded Ukraine. 

"Effective immediately, Visa will work with its clients and partners within Russia to cease all Visa transactions over the coming days," Visa said in a statement.

"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."

Growing list

Citing talks with employees, governments, and partners, as well as global sanctions, Mastercard released a similar statement, noting that all Mastercard services will cease in Russia effective immediately. 

"We don’t take this decision lightly," said Mastercard. "Mastercard has operated in Russia for more than 25 years. We have nearly 200 colleagues there who make this company so critical to many stakeholders."

The list of companies exiting their Russian businesses is growing by the day and includes Apple, Google, Snap, Facebook, Twitter, Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, TikTok, Netflix, and Microsoft

The global community, with a few notable exceptions, have moved to condemn Russia, cutting the country off from the SWIFT international payments gateway, levying huge sanctions on oligarchs and Russian businesses, and providing support for the Ukrainian government and people. 

How the war will play out remains to be seen, but the swift response by Western governments and countries will likely be devastating for the Russian economy and the people of Russia, many of whom now cannot access basic banking services. 

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.