Many of the Russian banks that were sanctioned in connection with Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine will not support large payment services such as Apple Pay and Google Pay.
On Friday, the Bank of Russia confirmed that Russia’s second largest bank, VTB, as well as other banks such as Sofcombank, Otkrititi, Novicombank and Promsvaizbank are on the list of companies subject to US sanctions.
The central bank said in a statement that users of debit and credit cards issued by these banks will no longer be able to use Apple Pay and Google Pay, adding that contactless or contactless payment will remain fully available throughout Russia.
The statement said that customers will no longer be able to pay with these cards for goods and services sold online from countries that support sanctions.
The Bank of Russia said in a separate statement on Friday that Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, was also among those affected by the sanctions. Penalties apply specifically to correspondent accounts with Sberbank.
In addition to blocking some Russian cards in Apple Pay and Google Pay, some Russian banks that are subject to sanctions also have problems with the Apple Store and Google Store due to their participation in decision-making in the Ukrainian People’s Republic of Donetsk and the Luhansk People’s. Republic.
On Wednesday, Apple is said to have removed mobile apps from the sanctioned Promsvyazbank, with at least three apps removed from the App Store. Google has also reportedly removed the main banking app from its store.
Russians are increasingly withdrawing money from their bank accounts as some officials warn that banks could lose deposits from private individuals if they circumvent sanctions. Users are said to have withdrawn 111.3 billion rubles ($ 1.3 billion) from Russian banks on the first day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the largest outflow since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic two years ago.
It seems that large outflows from banks have continued as many online customers continued to report that ATMs ran out of cash on Friday and were queuing for cash withdrawals.
While some online data indicate that Ukrainians are increasingly turning to cryptocurrency since the Russian invasion, it may be difficult to get updated data on Russian exposure to cryptocurrency given that there are no legal exchanges in the country tracking trade volume. Major local exchanges such as Binance declined to comment on the matter to Cointelegraph.
Related: Cryptocurrency May Bypass President Biden’s ‘Destructive’ Sanctions Against Russian Banks and Elites: Report
Volume of cryptocurrency trading in Russia on the largest peer-to-peer exchange LocalBitcoins has fallen in recent months, falling almost 100% between November 2021 and early February 2022, according to data from crypto data provider Coin Dance.