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PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Amex suspend all services in Russia

PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Amex suspend all services in Russia

PayPal and each of the major card schemes have shut down all services in Russia in an escalation of financial sanctions that go beyond just targeted banks.

PayPal has stopped taking on new users in Russia and will continue to support withdrawals "for a period of time, ensuring that account balances are dispersed in line with applicable laws and regulations".

"Under the current circumstances, we are suspending PayPal services in Russia," resident and chief executive Dan Schulman said in a statement.

He added that the company "stands with the international community in condemning Russia's violent military aggression in Ukraine".

Mastercard Visa, and American Express, which recently took action to block multiple financial institutions from ther payment rails, have gone one step further to suspend all network services in Russia.

With this action, cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the card networks regardless of where they’re used - inside or outside of Russia. And, any card issued outside of the country will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs.

"We don’t take this decision lightly," says the company in a statement. " Mastercard has operated in Russia for more than 25 years. We have nearly 200 colleagues there who make this company so critical to many stakeholders. As we take these steps, we will continue to focus on their safety and well-being, including continuing to provide pay and benefits. When it is appropriate, and if it is permissible under the law, we will use their passion and creativity to work to restore operations."

In response, Russian banks have said they plan to begin issuing cards using the Chinese UnionPay card operator system, combined with the local Mir network.

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