Russians having their credit cards refused is because the credit card system has deemed the transactions “invalid”, PR Phuket reported this afternoon (Mar 9), citing a report posted by the national Anti-Fake News Center.
Of note, the post by the Anti-Fake News Center cited the Phuket office of the Public Relations Department as conducting the investigation that confirmed the reports were “inaccurate”.
Also of note, the report shared by PR Phuket, sourced to the Anti-Fake News Center, made no mention that any credit cards presented Russian tourists were being refused because the hotel or other business had refused to accept it or because of the international sanctions against major Russian banks in effect in response to the invasion of Russian troops into Ukraine.
“According to the news published on the issue of hotels in Krabi and Phuket refraining from accepting credit cards from Russian tourists, the Anti-Fake News Center conducted a fact check by the Phuket Public Relations Office and found that such issues is misinformation,” said the report.
“If there is news indicating that hotels in Krabi and Phuket are not accepting credit cards from Russian tourists because of the unrest [sic] that has resulted in complicated international financial transactions, the Phuket Provincial Public Relations Office has examined and clarified the aforementioned issue that at present there is no refraining from accepting credit cards from foreign tourists.
“Instead, it is due to the problem of the tourist credit card system, which cannot be used. The operator [sic] therefore offered to pay the expenses in cash instead of using a credit payment system to reduce the risk,” the report claimed.
“So information and images are posted and continue to share now therefore it is distorted information. Therefore asking people to cooperate, do not share, do not forward such news in order to prevent potential impacts and for people to receive information from the Phuket Provincial Public Relations Office can be tracked on the website https://phuket.prd.go.th/th/page/item/index/id/12 or call 076-216118,” the report added.
“The conclusion of this story is: Foreign tourist credit cards have not been accepted, but because the tourist’s credit card is invalid,” the report concluded.
Of high interest is that the report made no mention that Chattan Kunjara Na Ayudhya, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Deputy Governor for Marketing for Europe, Americas and the Middle East, confirmed the reports.
The “fake news” claim also failed to identify that the Phuket Info Center, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior ‒ that is, which operates under the Phuket Governor’s Office - had also shared the news on its own official webpage last Friday (Mar 4).
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) Governor Yuthasak Supasorn has even recognised the issue of transactions via Russian banks and credit cards being blocked, and explained that tourism operators were working with UnionPay, a payment platform from China, to offer this channel to Russian visitors.
Bhummikitti Ruktaengam, President of the Phuket Tourist Association, has also confirmed that Phuket tourism operators are seeking to use UnionPay through China to receive payments from Russian tourists and tour operators ‒ despite the international sanctions in effect in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Visa and Mastrcard themselves on Saturday (Mar 5) issued public statements that they are suspending their operations in Russia amidst the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Mastercard cards issued by Russian banks would no longer be supported by the company’s network abroad. Visa similarly said that cards issued in Russia would no longer work outside Russia.
The Phuket News received independent confirmation on Friday (Mar 4) that certain credit cards issued by banks in Russia were already being refused. See photo gallery above.