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Apple Pay and Google Pay to Become Unusable with Cards from Sanctioned Russian Banks

Fredrik Vold
Last updated: | 1 min read
Source: Adobe/Araki Illustrations


Customers of five sanctioned Russian banks will be unable to use their cards to pay with Apple Pay and Google Pay, the central Bank of Russia, said.

The banks in question include banks under the VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, and Otkritie, per the announcement. The banks have all been sanctioned by Western governments following Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

The announcement added that holders of cards from these banks will be unable to use them outside Russia, and when shopping on e-commerce platforms that are “registered in the countries supporting the sanctions.”

The central bank stressed that cards and other payments from the sanctioned banks, as well as from all other banks, will continue to function normally inside Russia.

In Moscow, some residents were already lining up at ATMs yesterday to withdraw cash, as fears grew that withdrawal limits would be imposed in Russia, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The news could provide yet another boost to bitcoin (BTC) crypto adoption both in Russia and elsewhere, as residents learn about its properties as censorship-resistant money.

Google and Apple have not yet commented on how the sanctions will affect their payment services. In a speech on Thursday, however, US President Joe Biden said about the sanctioned banks that “every asset they have in America will be frozen” and the West “will limit Russia’s ability to do business in dollars, euros, pounds, and yen to be part of the global economy.”

Other than the US, the European Union, United Kingdom, Japan, and Australia have all said they will implement sanctions against Russia, including the freezing of assets held by Russian financial institutions.

The EU is also in talks to freeze the assets of Russia’s president Vladimir Putin and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in response to the invasion of Ukraine, Euronews reported. However, freezing these assets is a move more symbolic than actually punitive.
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