Russia put on its payments big-boy pants today, becoming the 10th country where banks now offer Apple Pay to their customers. The move was announced on Apple’s regional website. The contactless payments system will initially operate in Russia with partners Sberbank and Mastercard.
According to Sberbank, Apple Pay can be easily set up in the Sberbank Online mobile application, which will be familiar to all Sberbank cardholders. Users can then use the contactless payment service while continuing to receive all the benefits from using their credit and debit cards.
Russian Apple Pay users will be able to spend their rubles via the service at such retailers as ATAK, Magnit, Media Markt, Auchan, Azbuka Vkusa, bp, M.Video, TsUM and Apple reseller re:Store. Burger King restaurants and electronics retailer Eldorado are expected to soon follow suit.
The expansion means iPhone and Apple Watch users will be able to use their devices to pay for goods and services at the above retailers, and likely smaller stores that accept NFC-connected payments. While macOS Sierra also offers Apple Pay capabilities via web-based payments, there was no word on when Russian apps and online merchants would begin accepting the payments solution.
The ten countries Apple Pay is available in include the United States, United Kingdom, China, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Hong Kong, France, and Singapore. Apple is “working rapidly” to expand the service to additional countries in Asia and Europe. Apple announced at its iPhone 7 event last month that Apple Pay would soon be available in New Zealand.