Mastercard suspended its services to the credit cards of the Bank of the Armed Forces of Venezuela, the state bank said Wednesday, after the United States increased financial sanctions on the South American country.
Master Card credit card. / Reference image / Pexels
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Leer en español: Militares venezolanos se quedan sin tarjetas de crédito Mastercard
With the Mastercard measure, the bank's credit cards would not have communication with the points of sale of the network that controls these operations, at a time when the OPEC nation faces a shortage of circulating cash and hyperinflation advances day by day diluting the value of the coin.
The bank authorities said they were trying to overcome the "contingency" without giving further details. The measure would also have reached the Venezuelan Agricultural Bank.
"The Bank of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces denounces before its civil and military clients ... the suspension of interbank services on credit cards by the US company Mastercard," the bank said in a statement released in its twitter account.
Denunciamos ante la comunidad Nacional e Internacional, la suspensión de los servicios INTERBANCARIOS en las Tarjetas de Crédito @BanFanb por parte de la empresa norteamericana #MasterCard. #BloqueoBanfanb #BloqueoMasterCardVzla pic.twitter.com/K6PWfVjord— BANFANB (@BanFANB) 4 de septiembre de 2019
Since January, the Donald Trump government has increased sanctions to press for a departure from President Nicolás Maduro. Dozens of countries consider that the president does not have legitimacy because he has been re-elected in questioned elections and they support the opposition legislator Juan Guaidó, who proclaimed himself president in charge.
The Treasury Department notified Visa, Mastercard, and American Express in March that they could not maintain activities with the state financial entities of Venezuela as of March 2020.
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“Let #Mastercard know, its arbitrariness is far from intimidating us. The @BanFANB technology team is stronger than you think and our legal team will respond with the same forcefulness with which you attacked us,” General Darío Baute, president of the military bank wrote on Twitter.
The Ministry of Communication did not respond to requests for comments, nor did the Armed Forces, the Superintendency of Banks, the Agricultural Bank or MasterCard.
Since the United States imposed more sanctions, the Venezuelan superintendent of banks has asked local private banks to design a new payment system, but it is still in process, said a source in the financial sector.