Apple launched its Apple Pay software in Russia on Tuesday as the US technology firm extends the global reach of its payment service.
Russia is the 10th country where Apple Pay has been made available, following the United States, Britain, Canada and others.
The service was first launched in 2014 and will initially operate in Russia with partners Sberbank and Mastercard.
To use Apple Pay, consumers tap their iPhone over payment terminals to buy coffee, train tickets and other services. It can be also used at vending machines that accept contactless payments.
Apple Pay usage totalled $10.9 billion (roughly Rs. 72,569 crores) last year, the vast majority of that in the United States. That is less than the annual volume of transactions in Kenya, a mobile payments pioneer, according to research firm Timetric.
And its global turnover is a drop in the bucket in China, where Internet giants Alibaba and Tencent dominate the world’s biggest mobile payments market – with an estimated $1 trillion worth of mobile transactions last year, according to iResearch data.
Facing a slowing smartphone business, Apple has taken on the payments market hoping to add ways to make its devices more appealing, and more revenue streams. Apple takes a cut of up to 15 cents in the United States on every $100 spent.
While it has long mastered the supply chain for its mobile devices, the payments ecosystem has proved harder to control, and banks in other countries have reportedly negotiated lower transaction fees, contributing to its slow global roll-out.
Apple nearly doubled its R&D spending to more than $8 billion (roughly Rs. 53,266 crores) in 2013-15 as it pushed out a wave of new products including Apple Watch and Apple Pay, as well as upgrades to existing hardware devices and new services.