Apple suspends loophole that allowed Apple Pay to work in Russia

Apple had suspended its services in Russia following its invasion of Ukraine

Adam Smith
Monday 28 March 2022 12:18
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Apple has suspended its contactless Pay service for the largest payments system in Russia.

The technology giant suspended the sales of all products in Russia due to the country’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as shutting down its services like Apple Pay. The measures meant Russian Mastercard and Visa cardholders could use the service in the country, but Russia’s own Mir system had remained until Thursday.

"Apple has informed NSPK it is suspending support for Mir cards in the Apple Pay payment service. Starting from 24 March users cannot add new Mir cards to the service. Apple will stop all operations of previously added cards over the next few days," Russia’s National Card Payment System (NSPK), told Reuters.

The Independent contacted Apple but the company declined to comment.

Russia’s primary lender, Sberbank, also said that Apple informed it of its decision. "Further use of Mir cards in Apple Pay will not be available," it reportedly said.

Google Pay, the main competing contactless service on Android, and Samsung Pay, have also been suspended in Russia.

Ukraine’s digital minister has made requests to some of the largest technology companies to shut Russia off from the global internet.

Many of these – Visa, Mastercard, Samsung, Meta – have complied with the request. This has had drastic effects on Russian citizens, and experts have raised concerns of the ‘Balkanisation’ of the internet that would split the service up on geographical lines, similar to China’s Great Firewall where Beijing has high control over people’s access to information.

As well as sanctions from technology companies, numerous economic sanctions on Russia has had a devastating effect on the country’s economy, with one economist drinking on national television to the death of the stock market.

There are also concerns about the cultural impact these decisions could have on normal Russian citizens, at risk of being smeared as “trashy, evil and corrupt”.

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