Apple Pay and Google Pay services down in Russia, after declaration of war against Ukraine

Russian banks are facing sanctions after the country declared war against Ukraine. The Central Bank of Russia has reported that customers of multiple Russian banks are not able to use Apple Pay and Google Play services. Integrated with the Wallet app, Apple Pay contactless payment service, allows iPhone users to make quick payments at retail and online stores. 

Apple Pay

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin launched an invasion of Ukraine on the pretext of occupying its historic land and an act of self-defense against NATO expansion into eastern Europe. Moscow demands that Kyiv’s forces surrender and Ukraine agrees to become a “neutral” territory. Ukrainians have resolved to fight the invaders and preserve the sovereignty of their country. 

Although the international community is not sending armed forces to Ukraine, it has imposed financial sanctions on Russia which might cripple its economy. 

Excluding Apple Pay and Google Pay, affected bank cards will work for other contactless payments in Russia 

According to Insider, Russain Central bank said that VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, and Otkritie are some of the banks affected by financial sanctions. Russian customers of the affected banks will not be able to use their cards for wireless payment via Apple Pay and Google Pay but will be able to use other payments or cash withdrawals. 

The central bank announced that the affected bank cards would continue to work for standard contact and contactless payments across the country with no restrictions. Customers are able to access their funds at these banks at any time. 

Apple Pay

Unfortunately, customers of the impacted banks will not only be able to use Apple Pay in Russia, but they will also not be able to use cards of the sanctioned banks in countries that imposed financial sanctions on Russia like the UK, US, European Union, and Australia. 

Those banks’ customers wouldn’t be able to use their cards abroad, or to make online payments to companies registered in countries that have issued sanctions, the Central Bank said.

Insider also reports that world leaders are also freezing the foreign-held assets of Russian banks like Sberbank, General Bank, IS Bank, Rossiya, and the Black Sea Bank.

“Every asset they have in America will be frozen,” US President Joe Biden said Thursday.

The UK, US, European Union, and Australia are among governments who are freezing the foreign-held assets of Russian banks which also include Sberbank, General Bank, IS Bank, Rossiya, and the Black Sea Bank.

The New York Times states that Kremlin is already facing the economic and social ramifications of starting an unprovoked war. 

Russians have been stunned at how quickly the economic impact of the war was being felt. The ruble hit its lowest level ever against the dollar, which traded at about 84 rubles on Saturday compared to 74 a few weeks ago. That sent prices for imports surging, while sanctions on Russia’s largest banks wreaked havoc in the financial markets and new export restrictions promised to scramble supply chains.

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