Earlier today, we announced that we are suspending all operations in Russia. As a result, globally issued American Express cards will no longer work at merchants or ATMs in Russia. Additionally, cards issued locally in Russia by Russian banks will no longer work outside of the country on the American Express global network. We are also suspending all business operations in Belarus.
The American Express CEO wrapped his note up nicely:
One of our company values is to “Do What is Right.” This principle has guided us throughout our history and will continue to do so as we stand by our colleagues, customers, and the international community in hoping for a peaceful resolution to this crisis.
Discover placed their position in a press release, issued March 7:
Discover and Diners Club International do not have any active partners in Belarus and Russia. There is no acceptance of Discover, Diners Club, Network Alliance Partners, and PULSE® in these countries and no cards are being issued there.
Before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Discover/Diners Club International was in the process of establishing a Russian branch office and registering it with the Central Bank of Russia as a foreign payment system operator. We have suspended all actions to pursue the registration in Russia at this time.
Also joining the pack of large global players blocking access to Russia is Japan-based JCB:
In light of the sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we have been implementing the measures in accordance with laws, regulations and contracts.
In view of the difficulties we are currently witnessing and the unforeseen circumstances in the region, we have now decided to suspend the JCB network operations in the Russian Federation.
With this action, JCB cards issued in Russia will no longer be supported outside the country, and any JCB cards issued outside of Russia will no longer be supported within the Russian Federation.
Payment companies are not alone in exiting Russia. Yale School of Management maintains a list of companies edited by the Yale Chief Executive Leadership Institute. The running list of companies ranges from Accenture to Yum Brands. Top brands that you would expect to be on the list include Adobe, Airbnb, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, eBay, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, FedEx, IBM, McDonald’s, Moody’s, Netflix, PayPal, Pepsi, SAP, Starbucks, UPS, and YouTube.
It will certainly get testy in the Kremlin. The Russian Ruble, which had a peak exchange rate with the USD at $0.042, or slightly less than a nickel, traded on March 9, 2022 at less than a penny, at $0.008, according to Google.com. Sanctions driven by regulators will work better than military actions.
Overview by Brian Riley, Director, Credit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group