Visa, Mastercard, PayPal and American Express all moved to suspend service to Russia over the weekend in response to that country’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine.
Visa and Mastercard, the two biggest U.S. card companies, respectively, had already moved last week to cut off service to some Russia banks, and one Visa executive said Thursday the company was still determining how international sanctions imposed on Russia might affect other clients.
Visa also said earlier in the week that revenue from Russia and Ukraine accounted for about 5% of its revenue last year, while Mastercard had disclosed a 6% contribution.
In the most recent statement Saturday, Visa said it would cease all Visa transactions in Russia "over the coming days" and that ultimately transactions with Visa cards issued in Russia wouldn’t work elsewhere and any Visa cards issued outside of Russia wouldn’t work in Russia.
"We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed," Visa CEO Al Kelly said in the statement. "This war and the ongoing threat to peace and stability demand we respond in line with our values."
Mastercard issued a similar statement Saturday, saying it was suspending network services in Russia. The smaller rival American Express followed suit on Sunday, saying it was "suspending all operations" in Russia and neighboring Belarus, which has been used as a staging ground for the incursion on Ukraine.
Meanwhile, digital payments company PayPal also shut down services in Russia on Saturday, according to a report from the news outlet Reuters.