A number of Russian bank customers have complained inability to use their bank cards with Google Pay and Apple Pay. According to reports, this is an aftermath of the newly-imposed financial sanctions on the country. The affected financial institutions are listed in a press release from Russia’s Central Bank. They include VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, and Otkritie FC Bank.
While bank cards from these institutions are still of use within Russia, the customers have noted that they no longer work abroad or online for stores and services belonging to countries that issued sanctions on Russia. This has also been confirmed to include card payments through Apple Pay and Google Pay, although the Central Bank says contactless payments will still be available with the bank cards themselves, given that they support it says The Verge.
Several countries have joined in to issue stiff financial sanctions on Russia in a bit to express dissatisfaction for its invasion of Ukrainian soil. According to Ursula von der Leyen, the president of the European Commission, the European Union alone has issued stiff financial sanctions on Russia’s banking network That are targeted at limiting the country’s banking network by 70%. The US has placed major financial sanctions on Sberbank and VTB Bank and frozen assets belonging to others. The UK has frozen the assets of five Russian banks, noting that it’s no longer business as usual.
According to The Verge, reports from 2020 reveal that Russia-owned Sberbank Online, followed by YooMoney (formerly Yandex Money) are the 2 most popular online payment platforms in Russia as well QIWI and two other Russian payment service providers. At the time, 29 per cent of Russians reported using Google Pay, while 20 per cent used Apple Pay — however, this doesn’t account for their popularity as forms of contactless mobile payments.
Reports say that the US and Europe now have some Russian banks blocked from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication – SWIFT, the global financial system for communicating transactions, and are also making moves to directly impose even more grievous sanctions on the Russian President Vladimir Putin.