Some Russian bank cards no longer work with Apple Pay and Google Pay

Both services are unavailable in the country following US and EU sanctions.

MAXIM ZMEYEV / reuters

Following Western sanctions on Russia’s financial institutions in response to the invasion of Ukraine, customers of several of the country’s largest banks can no longer use their debit and credit cards in conjunction with Apple Pay and Google Pay. Among the affected organizations include VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank, and Otkritie FC Bank, according to a press release from the Central Bank of Russia spotted by Business Insider.

Customers with those banks can still use their cards to make contactless payments, provided they support the feature. However, they won’t work overseas, and they can’t be used to make online purchases from retailers registered in countries that have imposed sanctions on Russia.

As The Verge notes, Apple Pay and Google Pay aren’t as popular in Russia as homegrown options like YooMoney. According to data from 2020, only 29 percent of Russians reported using Google Pay at the time, while 20 percent said they had used Apple Pay. As such, those restrictions aren’t likely to impact Russian consumers too much given they have access to alternatives. However, the possibility of excluding Russian banks from the SWIFT interbanking system could lead to things like currency volatility that would further hurt the country’s economy.