The fintech industry is premised on the idea that transferring money should be fast, cheap, and borderless. But in a matter of days, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has upended this premise.
Consider the London-based Wise, which says its mission is “money without borders.” The money transfer company, which used to be named Transferwise, has “temporarily stopped” transfers in Russian rubles, due to ongoing war in Ukraine.
A Wise spokesperson told the Observer it will “monitor the situation closely and comply with any sanctions.” It also confirmed it will keep its services to Ukraine, which remain open, “as long as we’re able to do so.”
All across the globe, companies founded to make financial transfers as easy and quick as possible now have to adapt to a world where such transfers can be a legal or reputational liability.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is hugely unpopular in the West, and businesses have reacted accordingly. Multinational giants like Nike, Apple, Shell and BP are pausing or exiting their businesses in the country. Basic financial…