U.S. sanctions shut down Apple Pay in Russia

Paying with Apple Pay
Paying with Apple Pay (Image credit: Pexels)

What you need to know

  • New sanctions against Russia from the United States are affecting digital payment services.
  • Customers of the impacted Russian banks will no longer be able to use Apple Pay.
  • They will still be able to use their physical card and those that support contactless payments.

In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the United States, along with many of its allies, imposed even stricter sanctions against the country over the last few days.

As reported by Business Insider, the sanctions are affecting the availability of digital payment services for customers in the country. The sanctions, which target a number of Russian banks, have caused services like Apple Pay and Google Pay to be turned off for customers of those banks. The following banks are impacted by the sanctions:

  • VTB Group
  • Sovcombank
  • Novikombank
  • Promsvyazbank
  • Otkritie

The Central Bank of Russia has announced that cards that are issued by these banks will no longer be able to make transactions using digital payment services like Apple Pay and Google Pay.

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.

Customers will still, however, be able to use their physical cards issued from those banks within Russia. They'll also be able to use contactless payments with their card if it supports it.

The announcement came on the same day that Mykhailo Fedorov, Ukraine's Vice Prime Minister, sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook asking the company to turn off access to the App Store, its many digital services businesses, and stop the sale of its devices in Russia.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.