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Russians empty some Finnish ATMs with Chinese credit cards

The recent development is specific to Nosto-branded ATMs, which accept China's UnionPay card.

Nosto käteisautomaatti Vaalimaalla
China's UnionPay allows Russians to use their banking services when travelling outside of Russia. Image: Kare Lehtonen / Yle
Yle News

Russians using UnionPay credit cards are draining cash machines near busy border crossings in south-east Finland.

The recent development is specific to Nosto-branded ATMs, which accept UnionPay, a Chinese card. Visa and MasterCard credit cards issued by Russian banks have not worked since the war started.

However, some international credit and debit card companies—such as China's UnionPay—do allow Russians to use their products when travelling outside of Russia.

Traffic on Finland's eastern border has picked up since the Kremlin announced a partial mobilisation of 300,000 reserves last Wednesday.

Over the weekend, Risto Lepo, Country Manager with Nosto ATMs, told Taloussanomat that accepting UnionPay was done with Asian tourists in mind.

Speaking to Yle now, he said that discontinuing use of UnionPay on the machines was not an option due to long transition periods stipulated in the contracts.

Lepo said the recent ATM draining was mainly confined to a few dozen machines, adding that closing any cash points would also deprive Finnish customers of service.

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