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

Apple Pay will no longer support Russia’s Mir card payment system, closing a loophole that would allow Russians to continue using the service amid economic sanctions against the country, according to a report by Reuters

“Apple has informed NSPK [Russia’s National Payment Card System] that it will suspend support for ‘Mir’ cards in the payment service Apple Pay,” a translated announcement on Mir .’s site is reading. “Since March 24, it is no longer possible to upload new ‘Mir’ maps to the service.” The company also notes that any Mir cards previously added to Apple Pay will stop working “in the next few days.” Apple pay first added support for Mir maps last year

According to the guardMir is owned by the Central Bank of Russia and was created in response to economic sanctions against Russia after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Central Bank Statistics say Mir cards make up about 32 percent of all new cards issued in the country.

Google is also taking steps to cut ties with Mir, the WSJ reports† The company has reportedly paused a pilot program – which started last October – which allows users to link their Mir cards to Google Pay. “Google Pay is pausing payment-related services in Russia due to a disruption of payment services beyond our control,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to the WSJ

The edge contacted Google and Apple with a request for comment, but didn’t hear back immediately.

Many Russian users have been cut off from Apple Pay and Google Pay after several countries imposed financial sanctions on major Russian banks, including VTB Group, Sovcombank, Novikombank, Promsvyazbank and Otkritie FC Bank. Earlier this month, Visa and MasterCard suspended operations in Russia, preventing Russians from using their credit or debit cards outside the country or for international online payments.

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