As noted by Irish journalist Jason Corcoran in a tweeted image, commuters at Moscow's Metro Station had difficulty paying for their ride after they discovered the platforms no longer functioned.
“Apple Pay and Google Pay no longer work on Moscow’s metro system, leading to long queues as people fumble about for cash,” tweeted Corcoran.
Apple Pay and Google Pay no longer work on Moscow's metro system, leading to long queues as people fumble about for cash pic.twitter.com/ezaLZneKiJ
— Jason Corcoran (@jason_corcoran) February 28, 2022
It would seem as though ordinary Russians have been caught up in the sanctions imposed on Moscow by the West following President Vladimir Putin's invasion of neighboring Ukraine last week. Also affected, according to Summit News, is the Samsung Pay platform.
“Customers at a number of banks in Russia can no longer use their bank cards with Google Pay and Apple Pay due to newly-imposed financial sanctions on the country,” The Verge reported, noting that those types of payment platforms are not as popular in Russia as they are in the west.
“While customers can still use bank cards from these institutions within Russia, they’ll no longer work abroad or when making online payments to stores and services belonging to countries that issued sanctions on Russia,” the report continued.
Because Russians are increasingly concerned about more Western sanctions, the country is currently experiencing runs on banks as citizens rush to ATM machines and withdraw as much cash as they can.
“Giving the keys of our lives to companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and the digital world is the biggest mistake for mankind,” one person noted in response to the story.
In a related move, Reclaim The Net noted that domain service firm Namecheap has also moved to ban Russians from using their company.
“Unfortunately, due to the Russian regime’s war crimes and human rights violations in Ukraine, we will no longer be providing services to users registered in Russia,” the company says in the emails sent this week.
“While we sympathize that this war may not affect your own views or opinion on the matter, the fact is, your authoritarian government is committing human rights abuses and engaging in war crimes so this is a policy decision we have made and will stand by," the email continued.
In addition, the company informed Russian users that their web pages would be redirected to an error message and that top-level domains ought to be moved to other providers by March 22.
“Additionally, and with immediate effect, you will no longer be able to use Namecheap Hosting, EasyWP, and Private Email with a domain provided by another registrar in zones .ru, .xn--p1ai (??), .by, .xn--90ais (???), and .su," it said.
“All websites will resolve to 403 Forbidden, however, you can contact us to assist you with your transfer to another provider," the email added.
The actions by Google Pay and Apple have wide-ranging implications for Americans, who overwhelmingly use the platforms much more than Russians do. Obviously, if our government leans on the two big tech giants, they will respond by dutifully cutting us off as well.
This was foreshadowed just last month, as noted when GoFundMe froze donations to the "Freedom Convoy" truckers and their supporters at the request of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's tyrannical government, as a means of crushing an otherwise peaceful protest against his useless COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
These platforms not only have far more access to our personal information than they should lawfully be able to have, but they literally control our finances.
You'd do well to change that situation as soon as you can.