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Apple Pay Now Available in 10 Countries Following Russia Launch
The introduction of Apple Pay was announced on Apple's regional website, where it was revealed that the system would come via Mastercard and through Moscow-based Sberbank.
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.
If rollouts in other countries are any indication, additional credit card operators and regional financial institutions are expected to gain access over the coming months.
Upon launch of Apple Pay in Russia, participating retailers include ATAK, Magnit, Media Markt, Auchan, Azbuka Vkusa, bp, M.Video, TsUM and authorized Apple reseller re:Store. Contactless payments are expected to roll out at Electronics store Eldorado and Burger King in the near future.
With the introduction of macOS 10.12, web-based payments have become another feature of Apple Pay. However it remains to be seen when Russian apps and online vendors will support this or other in-app methods of online payment.
Apple announced its intention to bring the system to Russia during its iPhone 7 event last month, where it also said New Zealand would see Apple Pay come to its shores in the near future.
The ten countries Apple Pay is available in include the United States, United Kingdom, China, Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Hong Kong, France, and Singapore. Apple Pay vice president Jennifer Bailey has said Apple is "working rapidly" to expand the service to additional countries in Asia and Europe.