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Russians Getting Cash from Finnish ATMs via Chinese Cards – YLE

Russian tourists have been using Chinese credit cards to withdraw cash from automatic teller machines in Finland since Covid border restrictions eased on July 1

An increasing number of Russian tourists are using Chinese credit cards when visiting countries such as Finland.
Russian tourists have been using UnionPay credit cards to make big withdrawals in Finland in recent weeks since it became easier for them to cross the border. This image shows a UnionPay sign is seen outside a pawn shop in Macau. Photo: Reuters.


The amount of money being withdrawn from automatic teller machines (ATMs) in parts of Finland has jumped in recent weeks thanks to a surge of Russian tourists, who have been crossing the border since it “reopened” on July 1 (when arrivals no longer need to have Covid vaccine documentation), to withdraw money via Chinese cards, according to a report by YLE News.

With Western credit card companies such as Visa and MasterCard refusing to issue cards to Russians since sanctions were imposed six months ago, Russian visitors have been using cards such as China’s UnionPay to get cash, the report said, adding that ATMs have to be refilled three to four times a week now, when they only needed to be refilled once a week prior to the war in Ukraine.

The manager of a local ATM company said the extra business had only added to their costs, as they are paid for the number of withdrawals not the amount of revenue withdrawn, it said.

However, there have also been benefits for some Finns – cheaper fuel, for those able to cross the border into Russia, according to a separate report by YLE, which said “the average price per litre in Finland is up to three times higher than that in Russia”.

Read the full report: YLE News.





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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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