Apple Pay and Google Pay cut off some Russian customers

Digital wallets
(Image credit: Visa)

Russia's invasion of Ukraine has caused global condemnation and sanctions levelled at some of its largest banks mean that Russians are no longer able to access mobile payments apps Apple Pay or Google Pay. 

According to the Central Bank of Russia (via Insider), cards issued by  VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, and Otkritie are no longer able to be used with pay services from Apple and Google. 

Customers won't be able to use these cards abroad or make online payments to countries that have issued sanctions, according to the Central Bank. That means that Russians cannot use services from companies located in at least the US, UK, European Union, and Australia. 

Sanctions taking force

The sanctions have already led to long lines at ATMs in Russia, exacerbated by worries over the value of the ruble as the currency plummets and the Russian government implemented withdrawal limits. 

The Central Bank announced that bank cards would continue to work for standard and contactless payments across Russia and customers would be able to access their funds at any time. 

The reckless invasion of Ukraine ordered by Putin has rapidly led Russia into global pariah status, with few allies coming to its aid (and even fewer that don't share land borders). 

Justified by nationalism and the experiences annexing Crimea, it seems that Russia had assumed that Ukrainians would quickly submit to their new overlords. So far, the opposite has been true, albeit we are only in the very early stages of the conflict. 

The West, led by the US and EU, has been quick to sanction Russia's government, oligarchs, and leaders while providing support to Ukraine's military, government, and citizens. 

Max Slater-Robins has been writing about technology for nearly a decade at various outlets, covering the rise of the technology giants, trends in enterprise and SaaS companies, and much more besides. Originally from Suffolk, he currently lives in London and likes a good night out and walks in the countryside.