Visa and Mastercard separately announced that they were both blocking numerous Russian financial institutions from their global card payment networks, in support of and in line with Western sanctions following the attack on Russian President Vladimir Putin against Ukraine.
The two payment networks also separately pledged a donation of $2 million each for humanitarian relief.
Mastercard said its $2 million would be split between the Red Cross, Save the Children and the company’s employee relief fund for humanitarian relief.
“We will actively pursue additional opportunities to help aid organizations play our part in supporting the global relief effort,” Mastercard CEO Michael Miebach said in a statement. declaration.
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Visa said its $2 million contribution will benefit the US Fund for UNICEF to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. The company said it will also match all employee donations (up to $1 million) to UNICEF and Red Cross Ukraine response funds.
“Beyond these efforts, Visa is taking prompt action to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions and stands ready to comply with any additional sanctions that may be implemented,” Visa said in a statement. declaration.
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Mastercard further said that its Cyber & Intelligence and Corporate Security teams “work with governments and partners around the world to ensure the stability, integrity and resilience of our systems.”
U.S. sanctions forced Visa to bar Russian financial institutions qualified as specially designated nationals from accessing its networks, Reuters reported, citing a source with inside information. The list included the country’s central bank and second largest lender VTB.
Sanctions were imposed on Russian banks on Saturday February 26 by the United States, Britain, Europe and Canada, including banning certain lenders from using the international payment system SWIFT. Switzerland broke neutrality and supported the West by freezing Russian assets.