Russia’s Financial System
Western economic sanctions disrupted Russia’s financial system, with one exception, the WSJ reported. Russian consumers continued to use their Mastercard and Visa cards, even though these two organizations exited the country as the war began. Why? Payments made by these cards issued in Russia aren’t processed via U.S. networks, but rather through a system developed in-country.
Setting up their own national payment card system gave Russia the ability to cushion just the sort of disruption that’s happening now. The almost 200 million Mastercard and Visa cards in Russia still work—a rare exception to the effectiveness of sanctions imposed on the country. However, the cards don’t work outside of Russia.