Apple Pay Arrives in Russia

Russia this week became the tenth country to accept Apple Pay.

The service, which lets users make secure contactless and online payments, is initially open to Sberbank customers using MasterCard.

Apple Pay arrived in the fall of 2014 alongside iOS 8.1 in the US. Users simply wave their iPhone in front of the contactless payment station at participating merchants, or use Touch ID for in-app payments. In brick-and-mortar stores, Apple Pay works with iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later, and Apple Watch.

Those making online purchases can use an iPhone 6 or later, iPad Pro, iPad Air 2, or iPad mini 3 or later. Folks can also make payments via Safari using any Mac introduced in or after 2012 and running macOS Sierra; you must confirm the final amount with an iPhone 6 or later or Apple Watch.

Apple Pay has also rolled out in the UK, Canada, Australia, China, and Japan, among other regions.

"Many Sberbank clients actively use new technologies, and an increasing number of them will prefer cash-free and contactless payment using their smartphones," Alexander Torbakhov, deputy chairman of the Sberbank Executive Board, said in a statement.

Clients can set up Apple Pay via the Sberbank Online mobile app. Card numbers are not stored on the iDevice or the tech giant's servers; instead, each handset is assigned a unique ID, which is encoded and stored on the Secure Element chip (available in the iPhone 6 and up).

"MasterCard is … committed to bringing innovations to the Russian market and by doing so, we get Russia to the digital future," said Alexey Malinovskiy, head of MasterCard Russia. "With the launch of Apple Pay, cardholders have a safe, easy, and private way to pay for everyday purchases with their favorite devices—when, where, and how they want."

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