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US sanctions shut down Apple Pay in Russia

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.

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