Finnish ATM chain stops accepting UnionPay cards after ‘devastating’ influx of Russians

3 October, 04:39 PM
Russians emptied ATM chain of ‘tens of thousands of euros’ each in matter of hours (Photo:coindesk.com)

Russians emptied ATM chain of ‘tens of thousands of euros’ each in matter of hours (Photo:coindesk.com)

The Finnish ATM network Nosto stopped servicing UnionPay cards on Oct. 3 after an influx of Russians emptied its cash machines, Russian newspaper Kommersant has reported.

Nosto was the only network in Finland that worked with the Chinese payment system, which many Russians now use due to western sanctions. The decision to stop servicing the Chinese cards was allegedly made due to the increased demand for cash from Russians.

The company Nokas CMS, which owns the Nosto ATM network, said that in recent weeks Russian citizens had "emptied" its ATMs on the eastern border of Finland "in a matter of hours."

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"In the worst case, the amounts of cash withdrawn were so large that it could not be private Russian tourists shopping in Finland," said company spokesman Risto Lepo.

Earlier, the Finnish newspaper Yle wrote that the amount of funds withdrawn from UnionPay cards has increased hundreds of times compared to 2021, reaching tens of thousands of euros per card.

Nokas CMS stated that the company has been unable to replenish its ATMs in time, which has had an adverse effect on Finnish citizens.

"The main function of ATMs in Finland is to serve Finns who need cash," Lepo said.

Nokas CMS owns more than 500 Nosto ATMs in Finland. There are also Otto ATMs in the country, but they do not accept UnionPay cards.

After the beginning of full-scale Russian aggression against Ukraine, global financial companies such as Visa, American Express and Mastercard stopped issuing credit and payment cards to Russians, which forced them to flock to UnionPay.

In early September, it was reported that UnionPay also limited its work with Russian sanctioned banks.

Finland suspended the issuing of tourist visas to Russians on Sept. 30.

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