Russian tourists in Bali have been unable to withdraw money from their accounts due to payment networks blocking card transactions in response to the unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.
Konstantin Ivanov, a Russian citizen who was on vacation in Bali, is one Russian who has failed in his attempts to withdraw cash from his bank.
“This will be a big problem for us. We really lost our finances, it seems it has been completely frozen and we can’t use it at all here,” Ivanov said, quoted by Reuters on Thursday 10th March 2022.
Based on BPS data, it was recorded that around 1,150 people from Russia entered Indonesia in January 2022.
Rifki Saldi Yanto, a manager of a local cafe, said that in recent times, Russian customers in his place had been paying more with cash than credit cards. He has also noticed a downward trend in Russian consumers.
Meanwhile, the Russian Embassy in Jakarta said it would provide information and assistance to every citizen who faces problems. Russian Embassy Spokesman Denis Tetiushin said Russia’s Pochta Bank is now offering virtual cards using China’s UnionPay system, rather than Visa or Mastercard.
“It’s free and people can open it wherever they are,” he said in a text message received by CNNIndonesia.com.
The Russian economy is facing its most severe crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 after countries across the world moved to isolate it from the global financial system since the attack on Ukraine.
The international payment system SWIFT has cut several Russian banks from its network, while Visa and Mastercard said they were blocking overseas use of their cards issued by Russian banks from 9th March.