Google halts Play Store billing system in Russia, users unable to purchase new apps

The move doesn't seem to originate from Google's end, and likely is a byproduct of a Russian bank being sanctioned

Google Play Store on Pixel 4a

In an update posted to its support page yesterday, Google announced that it is pausing Google Play’s billing system for users in Russia.

According to the update, Russian Google Play users would no longer be able to purchase new apps and games from the store, along with not being able to make in-app and monthly subscription payments for Google-owned apps like YouTube.

Google cites a “payment system disruption” as the main reason behind the stoppage.  This could be because the bank that facilitates Google Pay payments in Russia might have been sanctioned, similar to how Apple Pay is currently disabled in the country as the bank that facilitates those transactions, VTB, has been hit with strict economic sanctions.

It’s worth noting that users in Russia would still be able to download free apps and games from the store, along with retaining full access to apps that they have already purchased. However, any and all subscriptions will end after their current billing cycle.

This comes soon after Google announced that it has suspended all of its ad sales in Russia. “In light of the extraordinary circumstances, we’re pausing Google ads in Russia,” the company said in a statement given to Reuters. “The situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to share updates when appropriate.”

Check out a full list of big tech/social media sanctions against Russia in the wake of its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine here.

Source: Google 

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