Apple Pay has now arrived in Bulgaria and Belarus.
Apple’s biometrically secured mobile payments platform arrived in the former country via First Investment Bank, or Fibank, earlier this month; in Belarus, meanwhile, the platform has just launched with the support of BPS-Sberbank. As 9to5Mac reports, this is the domestic arm of the major Russian bank Sberbank.
The new European launches bring the total roster of countries in which Apple Pay is active to 58, with particularly extensive coverage in Europe, Asia Pacific, and North America.
The Bulgarian and Belarusian launches represent the latest expansion of Apple’s presence in the digital payments sector – a new milestone having been reached this past summer with the launch of the Apple Card, a credit card developed in collaboration with Goldman Sachs that is primarily designed to reside in virtual form on a user’s iPhone, but can also be ordered as a physical payment card. On the iPhone, the Apple Card operates in conjunction with Apple Pay, taking advantage of the device’s NFC capability for contactless payments at retail POS terminals, and also enabling online purchases.
Likewise, as with other Apple Pay transactions, the Apple Card also supports the sophisticated biometric security capabilities of Apple’s iPhone devices. These include the Face ID system based on 3D facial recognition featured on Apple’s most recent iPhones, and the fingerprint scanning Touch ID system on older versions of the iPhone supporting Apple Pay.
“Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay,” Fibank said in a statement announcing its support for payments platform. The bank also emphasized the platform’s convenience, adding later that thanks to Touch ID and Face ID, when shopping in apps and on websites, “There’s no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information with Apple Pay.”