Russian bank customers barred from using Apple, Google Pay

Thousands of Russian customers have been barred from using Apple Pay and Google Pay services after the US imposed heavy financial sanctions on the country for invading Ukraine.

Customers at several banks in Russia reported they were unable to use their bank cards with Google Pay and Apple Pay.

According to a statement by Russia’s Central Bank, customers of banks that fell under the sanctions (VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, Otkritie) will not be able to pay with cards of these banks abroad.

“Also, the cards of these banks will not be able to be used with Apple Pay, Google Pay services, but standard contact or contactless payment with these cards is available in full throughout Russia,” the Central Bank informed.

Google Pay and Apple Pay aren’t as popular in Russia as they are in the US, The Verge reported late on Saturday..

Russia’s most popular mobile payment service was the Russia-owned Sberbank Online, followed by YooMoney (formerly Yandex Money) and QIWI, two other Russian payment service providers.

Last reported figures showed that 29 per cent of Russians use Google Pay while 20 per cent use Apple Pay.

The US has put sanctions on Sberbank and VTB Bank, two of Russia’s biggest financial institutions, while the UK froze the assets of five Russian banks.

The White House has also announced that the US, joined by European nations and Canada, will remove some Russian banks from SWIFT, the payment system used for most international financial transactions.

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