Your Ukrainian Bank Card is blocked . . . always

Avoid banking in Ukraine at all costs. While the rest of the countries seems to have taken small but significant steps forward, banking seems to be trapped in some barbaric, ponderous, Soviet past.

You can safely assume that you credit card is blocked for online purchases (like train tickets). That’s my default assumption.

I’ve made hour-long visits to banks on what seems like a dozen different occasions. Every time I want to use my card online, I have to start by visiting the bank to unblock it.

I can’t get help over the phone because I never pass the verification process. Sometimes I forget whether I’ve used my middle name (as per my US passport) or my patronymic (as per my Ukrainian residency). Sometimes I just don’t understand the questions they ask.


1. Your credit card is blocked for online purchases, and you should plan to spend an hours in a bank prior to any online purchase. If you succeed, your card will immediately be blocked again.

2. You will not pass verification over the phone. I suspect there’s no way to actually pass. It’s just there for show. A Potemkin Village of customer service.

3. Avoid banking in Ukraine at all costs.

Earlier rants about Ukrainian Banking: