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Visa and Mastercard are removing Russian banks from their card network

Visa and Mastercard are removing Russian banks from their card network

US payment card issuers Visa and Mastercard said they had taken steps to implement sanctions against Russia after the invasion of Ukraine, preventing Russian banks from using their network.

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Consequently, MasterCard has “blocked several financial institutions” on its payment network “in response to orders to impose sanctions,” the company’s general manager noted in a message posted on its site Monday evening.

“We will continue to work with regulators in the coming days to fully meet our compliance obligations as they evolve,” Michael Maybach added.

For its part, Visa indicated on its website that it “takes immediate measures to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions.”

The group also says it is “ready to comply with any additional sanctions that may be implemented.”

Like many Western countries, the United States has implemented several sanctions against major Russian banks and many individuals, freezing their assets and/or generally preventing American companies from doing business with them.

For payment card issuers, this means suspending access to their network for sanctioned entities.

In his letter, the General Manager of MasterCard also emphasized that the integrity of payment networks is closely monitored, particularly in the face of potential cyber attacks.

He asserts, “Our cyber, intelligence, and enterprise security teams work with governments and partners around the world to ensure the stability, integrity, and resiliency of our normally operating systems.”

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“We are committed to rapidly monitoring and responding to cyber attacks, the risk of which is increasing exponentially in the current environment,” Maybach added.