Apple Pay will suspend support for Russian banks sanctioned by the war in Ukraine

Several Russian banks that have been sanctioned by Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine will no longer support major payment services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Russia’s second-largest bank VTB — as well as other banks such as Sovcombank, Otkritie, Novikombank and Promsvyazbank — are on the list of companies sanctioned by the United States, according to confirmed on Friday the Bank of Russia.

Users of debit and credit cards issued by these banks will no longer be able to use Apple Pay and Google Pay, the central bank said in the announcement, adding that contact or contactless payment will remain fully available across Russia.

Customers will also not be able to continue paying with these cards for products and services sold online from countries that support sanctions, the statement said.

The largest bank in Russia, Sberbank, is also among the sanctioned banks, according to reported on Friday the Bank of Russia in another statement. The sanctions specifically target Sberbank correspondent accounts.

Aside from some Russian cards being blocked in Apple Pay and Google Pay, some sanctioned Russian banks are also having problems with the Apple Store and Google Store due to their involvement in the Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic decisions. from Ukraine.

Apple would have withdrawn the mobile applications of the sanctioned Promsvyazbank on Wednesday, and at least three applications would have been removed from the App Store. Apparently Google also removed the main bank app from its store.

The Russians would retired more and more money from their bank accounts, as some officials have warned that banks could seize private deposits if sanctions go too far. Apparently, Users withdrew 111.3 billion rubles ($1.3 billion) from Russian banks on the first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the biggest money outflow since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.

Significant outflows from banks appear to have continued, as many online customers followed reporting that the ATMs were empty and that there were long queues to withdraw money on Friday.

People queuing outside Sberbank to withdraw money from their accounts.

While some on-chain data suggests that Ukrainians have been increasingly moving towards cryptocurrencies after the Russian invasion, recent data on Russians’ crypto exposure can be difficult to come by, as the country does not have legal exchanges that track trading volumes. Major locally operating exchanges like Binance declined to comment on the matter with Cointelegraph.

According to data from crypto data provider Coin Dance, Russian crypto trading volumes on major peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins have been falling in recent months, falling down almost 100% between November 2021 and early February 2022.

LocalBitcoins weekly volume. Source: Coin Dance

Keep reading:

Investments in crypto assets are not regulated. They may not be suitable for retail investors and the full amount invested may be lost. The services or products offered are not aimed at or accessible to investors in Spain.