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Apple and Google have Closed a Gap that Allowed Russians to Make Mobile Payments using Mir cards

Apple Pay and Google Pay are no longer Supported.

Apple and Google have patched a gap that allowed Russians to continue using their respective mobile wallets after the companies’ services were prohibited in the nation during the invasion of Ukraine.

According to Reuters, Apple, which debuted Apple Pay in Russia in 2016, has halted its service for the Russian payment system MIR. The corporation cut off service in the country at the start of this month, just as Russia escalated its military operations in Ukraine. Although Russian Mastercard and Visa cardholders were barred from using Apple Pay, some customers were able to continue using the service thanks to Apple’s existing partnership with MIR. Users with MIR cards in Russia will be unable to use Apple Pay as a result of the current action.

MIR was created in 2015 by Russian national payment provider National Payment Card System (NSPK). “Apple told NSPK that it is halting support for Mir cards in the Apple Pay payment service,” NSPK said in a statement. Loading new Mir cards into the service has been unavailable since March 24. Apple will disable previously loaded cards over the next few days.”

In a similar move, Google severed connections with MIR, according to the Wall Street Journal, citing a source familiar with the situation.

Despite the continued economic sanctions against Russia, Apple has plugged a gap that allowed some Russians to continue using its mobile payments service. According to Reuters, the business informed Russia’s largest lender on Thursday that Apple Pay would no longer support the country’s domestic Mir payment system.

The National Card Payment System said Friday that “Apple has informed NSPK that it is halting support for Mir cards in the Apple Pay payment service.” “Users will not be able to add new Mir cards to the service after March 24th. Over the following few days, Apple will disable all previously inserted cards.”

Last week, Google took a same stance. The business halted an experiment that allowed Russians to link their Mir cards to Google Pay, according to a second story from The Wall Street Journal. “As a result of payment service disruptions outside our control,” a Google official informed the site, “Google Pay is stopping payments-related services in Russia.”

After the United States and other nations placed sanctions on Russia in retaliation to its annexation of Crimea in 2014, the Central Bank of Russia established Mir, according to The Verge. Mir cards are used in more than 25% of all card transactions in the country, according to information released by the Central Bank.

Prior to the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24th, major Russian financial institutions such as VTB Group and Sovcombank’s cards ceased operating with Apple Pay and Google Pay.

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