US card payment giants Visa and Mastercard have shut out Russian financial institutions from their networks after Western nations ramped up sanctions on Russian firms.
Visa said it was taking fast action to comply with sanctions introduced this week as the US looked to freeze out Russian institutions from Western finance.
Mastercard also confirmed in a statement it was working to shut out sanctioned institutions.
“We will continue to work with regulators in the days ahead to abide fully by our compliance obligations as they evolve,” the firm said on Monday.
The sanctions on Russia require Visa to suspend access to its network for entities listed as Specially Designated Nationals, Reuters reported, and Russia’s second largest lender VTB is among the firms on the list.
Russia has been working on an alternative payments system since 2014 to overcome potential blocks of electronic payments.
But Mir, as it known, accounts for just 25 per cent of all card transactions in Russia and 32.3 per cent of new card issuance, according to Russia’s central bank.
Mastercard and Visa’s clampdown comes amid a wider move from payments and fintech firms to shut out Russian transactions from their platforms, after sanctions were slapped on Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.
London-listed cross-border payments firm Wise suspended money transfers in Russia but pledged to “keep these measures under constant review.”