Apple Pay closes loophole that allowed Russian users to pay with Mir cards

According to a report from Reuters, Apple Pay would no longer accept the Russian card payment system Mir, eliminating a loophole that allowed Russians to continue using the service despite economic sanctions enforced on the nation.

For the time being, Apple Pay will no longer be able to accept ‘Mir’ cards from Russia’s National Payment Card System (NSPK), according to a notice made by the card company on its website. New ‘Mir’ cards cannot be uploaded to the service since the 24th of March. Any Mir cards already connected to Apple Pay will cease operating over the “coming few days,” according to the business. Last year, Apple Pay began supporting Mir cards.

Google and Apple Pay have already been cut off from the vast majority of Russian customers.
In reaction to the economic restrictions imposed on Russia after its 2014 annexation of Crimea, Mir was created, according to The Guardian. One third of new cards in the nation are Mir ones, according to Central Bank figures.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Google is likewise taking moves to distance itself from Mir. A test initiative that allowed users to link their Mir cards to Google Pay has apparently been halted by the corporation. Payment-related services in Russia have been halted by “payment services disruptions beyond of our control,” a Google spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal. Google and Apple were contacted by The Verge for comment but did not respond immediately.

VTB Group, Sovcombank and Novikombank are among the Russian institutions targeted by financial sanctions imposed by a number of nations. Apple Pay and Google Pay are no longer available to many Russians as a result of these restrictions. Visa and MasterCard froze their operations in Russia earlier this month, preventing Russians from using their credit or debit cards outside Russia or for international online payments.