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March 9, 2022updated 23 Mar 2022 9:56am

Japan’s JCB halts Russia operations amid Ukraine crisis

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Japanese card company JCB has joined the likes of Mastercard and Visa in halting its operations in Russia amid the country’s ongoing military offence against Ukraine.

The firm is suspending network operations in the Russian Federation in light of the ‘unforeseen’ conditions in the region and the challenges faced.

JCB stated that it is taking these steps while complying with contracts as well as regulations.

The firm said in a statement: “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.

“We regret any inconvenience this may cause to our customers and partners.”

Several payments and fintech firms have cut their ties with Russia in order to comply with sanctions announced on the country in the wake of the Ukraine crisis.

Earlier this week, US-based payments company Discover ended its pursuit of Russia’s payment space.

It was looking to establish a regional branch in Russia, plans which now have been put on hold.  

This week, Visa and Mastercard stopped their network services in Russia while American Express ceased all operations in Russia and Belarus.

Russia is now considering China’s UnionPay to issue cards as foreign card firms continue to suspend their services in the country.

The Bank of Russia has urged regional lenders to start issuing cards co-badging the domestic Mir payments system along with UnionPay.

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