Visa and Mastercard-Issued Binance Cards No Longer Available in Russia

Crypto Regulation
Visa and Mastercard-Issued Binance Cards No Longer Available in Russia

Binance (BNB), the world’s number one cryptocurrency exchange and bitcoin (BTC) trading venue has announced that its Russian customers will no longer be able to use its Mastercard and Visa-issued cards starting from March 9, 2022. Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao has made it clear via his official Twitter handle that the decision is entirely out of the exchange’s control.

Binance Cards No Longer Available in Russia

Indeed, when nations go to war, it’s the innocent citizens that suffer the adverse effects the most. As President Vladimir Putin-led Russia continues what the international media has described as an unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, the United States, Europe, and other countries have continued to bombard the Kremlin with tough sanctions designed to force the Putin army to stop their onslaught.

Following a request by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky on March 5, 2022, leading payments processor, Mastercard announced on March 5 that its cards will no longer function in Russia, in accordance with the directives of regulators globally.

“We have decided to suspend our network services in Russia. This decision flows through our recent action to block multiple financial institutions from the Mastercard payment network, as required by regulators globally,” declared Mastercard in a March 5, 2022 statement.

“With this action, cards issued by Russian banks will no longer be supported by the Mastercard network regardless of where they are used – inside or outside of Russia. And, any Mastercard issued outside of the country will not work at Russian merchants or ATMs,” the firm added.

In the same vein, Visa also announced its suspension of operations in the region, making it clear that all Visa cards issued in Russia will no longer work in the country or anywhere around the world.

“We are compelled to act following Russia’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, and the unacceptable events that we have witnessed,” declared Al Kelly, chairman, and CEO of Visa. “We regret the impact this will have on our valued colleagues, and on the clients, partners, merchants, and cardholders we serve in Russia.”

Binance Joins the Sanctions Train

In light of the foregoing, Binance crypto exchange has announced via an official statement on March 8, 2022, that all Binance cards from the stables of Mastercard and Visa will no longer be available in Russia starting from March 9, 2022.

That’s not all, the exchange has also made it clear that transactions initiated with these cards on merchant platforms outside the Russian Federation on Binance.

“Effective Wednesday 2022-03-09 21:00 UTC(Thursday, 2022-03-10 00:00 UTC+3) all transactions initiated with Mastercard and Visa cards issued in Russia will be unavailable on Binance. In addition, all transactions initiated with Mastercard and Visa cards by financial institutions outside of Russia will also be unavailable within the Russian Federation on Binance,” stated Binance.

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, explained via Twitter today that the decision is entirely out of the exchange’s control. 

At press time Binance remains the world’s number one crypto exchange, with $15.443 billion in 24-hour trading volume, according to CoinMarketCap.

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Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel

Ogwu Osaemezu Emmanuel is a graduate of Mass Communication and Media Studies. He joined the blockchain movement in 2016 when a friend of his introduced him to an investment platform accepting bitcoin. He has never looked back since then. Emmanuel believes the world needs real change and freedom from poverty. He sees crypto and the underlying distributed ledger technology as the catalyst to a better future for all.