What payment systems are blocked in Russia?

Publication date: 18 Oct 2023

In October 2023, Apple allowed Russians to make in-app purchases bypassing the AppStore. Russian developers will now be able to embed in their iOS and iPadOS apps the ability to pay for purchases via third-party payment systems. At the same time, Apple will charge a reduced commission for purchases outside the AppStore of 27% instead of 30%.

At the beginning of 2022, the political and economic situation in the world changed dramatically. Russia faced sanctions: many payment systems and services became unavailable to Russians. Then the question “What payment systems work in Russia?” immediately became very topical. In May 2023, 3SNET decided to check how the situation with online payments and money transfers had changed.

What payment systems work in Russia?

Visa and MasterCard debit bank cards issued by Russian banks continue to work. You can use them to make payments and pay for services within Russia. Use of Visa and MasterCard may be more complicated in other countries and online services.

Within Russia, and in some other countries, you can use the cards of MIR, the Russian national payment system, to make payments.

Balances can also be topped up through the System of Fast Payments (SBP).

Bank card payment systems do not operate in Russia such as American Express, JCB.

There are Pay services in Russia that allow making payments using various bank cards: SberPay, Tinkoff Pay, VK Pay, Yandex Pay, MirPay. Using them, it is possible to pay with a smartphone.

Apple Pay, Google Pay and SamsungPay no longer serve users from Russia.

You can pay for services or purchases using e-wallets to which your bank card is linked. You can make a deposit or withdraw money from legal betting shops in Russia via the TSUPIS Wallet. You can also freely use e-wallets YooMoney and Qiwi.

Full list of payment systems which work in Russia in 2023:

  • Payeer e-wallet allows Russians to create new accounts as well as make transfers in Russian currency.
  • WebMoney has limited operations with WMP and WMR (in Russian roubles). However, users can make payments in WMZ (equivalent to USD) and WME (equivalent to EUR).  On 10 May 2023 it became possible to access WebMoney Wallet through Telegram messenger. New users can register with a phone number and password.
  • Registration with AdvCash is instant, then additional verification is required. New users can make transfers in 7 currencies (Russian roubles, euros, dollars).
  • The Skrill payment system has a limited mode: the site in the .ru zone is available and it even offers to create a new account. Actually, there is no such option: the Russian Federation and the Russian rouble are missing from the list of offered options. Existing users can make payments between their accounts as well as within Russia.
  • The Neteller e-wallet has officially banned withdrawals and deposits by Russians. But in 2023, the situation is similar with Skrill: new accounts eventually can’t be created, existing accounts work with restrictions.
  • Perfect Money provides “financial service from Kaliningrad to Vladivostok”. Complete package: registration, currency exchange, transfers within Russia and worldwide.
  • Personal account in the Canadian payment system Paxum can be created on the Russian-speaking site. During registration, one can choose the Russian Federation, but among currencies there are only euros, dollars and pounds sterling. Russian citizens can receive and send money within the country in addition to receiving payments from third-party sites. 
  • Creating a Piastrix wallet is as easy as possible: you need to enter an e-mail address and come up with a password. Deposit and transfer money can be made in roubles, dollars, euro and Kazakh tenge.

Full list of payment systems which do NOT work in Russia in 2023:

  • PayPal Russia does not open new personal or corporate accounts.
  • Wise payment service blocks access to its website for Russian users.
  • It is only possible to open an account with Paysera via the app. The site is available in Russian, but all services are not available for the Russian rouble.
  • Western Union payment system stopped its operations in Russia in March 2022.
  • As of May 2023, Payz accounts are no longer available for Russian residents.

Payments via messengers: what is possible?

In May 2023, Roskomnadzor named the list of messengers via which it is prohibited to transfer personal data of Russian residents and any payment documents*.

The list includes messengers belonging to foreign legal entities and thus violating the Federal Law “On Information, Information Technology and Information Protection”.

List of messengers prohibited for making payments in Russia:

  • Discord (Discord Inc., USA);
  • SnapChat (Snap Inc., USA);
  • Skype (Microsoft Corporation, USA);
  • Microsoft Teams (Microsoft Corporation, USA);
  • Threema (Threema GmbH, Switzerland);
  • Viber (Viber Media S.à r.l., Luxembourg);
  • WhatsApp (WhatsApp LLC, USA);
  • WeChat (WeChat International Pte. Ltd., Singapore);
  • Telegram (Telegram messenger Inc., unknown).

*It is prohibited to transmit data on money transfers, information required to make payments and information on accounts and deposits of Russian citizens in banks.

 

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