Visa and Mastercard have cut Russian financial institutions off from their payments networks to comply with the sanctions imposed by governments on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.
“Our Cyber & Intelligence and Corporate Security teams are working with governments and partners around the world to ensure the stability, integrity and resiliency of our systems, which are operating as normal,” Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said in a statement on the company’s website.
The move was sought by Ukraine National Bank Governor Kyrylo Shevchenko to increase pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime, according to Nikkei Asia.
According to Reuters, “Russians rushed to ATMs and waited in long queues on Sunday and Monday amid concerns that bank cards may cease to function, or that banks would limit cash withdrawals.”
Miebach said among the most important roles that it plays is ensuring that its network and the global payments ecosystem remains secure against cyberattacks.
“Visa is taking prompt action to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions, and is prepared to comply with additional sanctions that may be implemented,” that company said in a statement posted to its website.
The card giants each pledged to donate $2 million for humanitarian assistance to help Ukrainians displaced by the war, the ranks of which the United Nations expects to swell to as many as 5 million, Time reported.
A coalition of some of the world’s richest nations joined together on the weekend to impose their first Swift sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, taking a narrowly-tailored approach to cutting offselect Russian banks from the international financial messaging system.