As international financial services continue to chokehold Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, Malaysians who are in the country who have been facing issues with transactions, are being advised by the government to get in touch with the embassy for assistance.
This comes as two of the largest credit card issues Visa and Mastercard issuing a ‘suspend’ order on all transactions using their cards. This latest move will undoubtedly create difficulty for foreigners and students in Russia as most travelers would be using credit cards as their main means of transaction. Apart from the credit cards, the EU has also stopped all SWIFT-related transfers which disrupt Electronic Fund Transfers. The advice from the Malaysian government is for the many students who have not left the country as there are no orders from the Malaysia Foreign Affairs Ministry to do so, however, those in Ukraine have been evacuated recently.
Both American-owned, Visa, and Mastercard have with immediate effect suspended all transactions in Russia. In a statement issued on the same day, Visa stated that it will work with its clients and partners within Russia to cease all transactions over the coming days this will also impact issued by the Russian banks as they will longer work outside the country and any cards issued by financial institutions outside of Russia will also no longer work within the Russian Federation.
As for Mastercard, which has been in operation in Russia for over 25 years and with a staff force of 200 said its cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the Mastercard network. And, any Mastercard issued outside of the country will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs.
The latest action has been hailed encouragingly by US President Joe Biden and has been categorised as step-by-step action to ostracise Russia from the financial world.