The Russian payment card system called Mir will no longer be hosted on Apple Pay, adding to the existing restrictions against Russian economic activity enacted via Apple's payment service.
On March 24, the Mir suspension took effect, according to an announcement on Mir's website. Russia's National Card Payment System was also alerted by Apple.
The announcement states that uploading new Mir cards to Apple Pay is no longer possible, and any Mir cards added prior to the suspension should stop working over the next few days.
Mir has been using Apple Pay in Russia since last year. Apple took several measures to limit economic activity in Russia on its platforms in response to the attack on Ukraine. Restrictions on access to Russian Mastercard and Visa holders were previous measures.
Russia's own internal payment system has been removed from Apple's platform, meaning that both international and domestic purchases in Russia cannot be made using Apple Pay. Russian Apple Pay users had a loophole that allowed them to still use the system even after Mir was suspended.
There are other tech companies that restrict Russian economic activity via their platforms. A pilot program that allowed Mir cards to be used on Google Pay has been paused. The U.S.-based card networks have pulled out of the country completely, which means that Russian users can't access them.
It is not a direct action from the parent company of the company to not have access to the card. Because Visa and Mastercard suspended their own services in Russia more broadly, Google has not taken responsibility for the pause of the pilot program that Mir was using.
The WSJ has learned that the payment services disruption out of our control has led to the pause in payments-related services in Russia.
Russian users of Apple Pay and Google Pay have been affected by restrictions from other international banks, according to the Central Bank of Russia. The restrictions affect any purchases made via Apple Pay or Google Pay by Russians while abroad, or online to stores in countries that have taken financial sanctions against Russia.