Financial service corporations Mastercard and Visa have reportedly blocked Russian banks from using both of their networks. The decisions were made nearly one week after Russia began its invasion of Ukraine.
In a statement, Mastercard CEO, Michael Miebach, declares that the invasion by Russian military forces has been devastating to the people of Ukraine. The company’s first priority has been the well-being of its employees and their families. “As a result of sanction orders, we have blocked multiple financial institutions from the Mastercard payment network. We will continue to work with regulators in the days ahead. To abide fully by our compliance obligations as they evolve.”
Meanwhile, Miebach reports the company is working with its partners to direct funding and humanitarian aid. The aid will also go where it can provide the greatest impact. “We announced a $2 million contribution to the Red Cross; Save the Children; and our employee assistance fund for humanitarian relief. We will actively pursue additional opportunities to assist aid organizations to play our part in supporting the global relief effort.”
Miebach went on to add that Mastercard’s Cyber & Intelligence and Corporate Security teams are working with governments and partners. This is to ensure the stability, integrity, and resilience of the company’s systems during the Russian attacks. “We are committed to active monitoring and rapid response to cyber-attacks, the threat of which is heightened significantly in the present environment.”
Visa Announces Sanctions & Humanitarian Aid During the Russian Attacks
On Monday (February 28th), Visa issued a statement announcing that it will be providing humanitarian aid during the Russian/Ukrainian crisis. “To that end, Visa Foundation will provide a $2 million grant to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support humanitarian aid to the people of Ukraine. We are proud to support the courageous work of UNICEF and their humanitarian relief efforts. Visa will also double match all employee donations (up to $1 million) to the Ukraine response funds of UNICEF and the Red Cross.”
Along with the humanitarian aid, Visa will be taking prompt action to ensure compliance with applicable sanctions. It is also preparing to comply with additional implementing sanctions. “Our thoughts are with the Ukrainian people and all those impacted. We hope for a peaceful resolution soon.”
The DailyMail notes that government sanctions are now requiring Visa to suspend access to its network for entities listed as Specially Designated Nationals. The media outlet notes that clients at three of Russia’s ten largest banks may no longer pay with ApplePay and GooglePay services.
Mastercard and Visa are among the companies that have officially cut ties with Russia during the Ukrainian invasion. Other companies participating in the withdrawal of the country include HSBC, Dell, BP, DHL, FedEx, Ericsson, UPS, Shell, Sony, Uber, and Volvo.