Apple Pay’s base of support in Russia has dramatically expanded today, letting more Russians order products and services through their iPhones and verifying them with secure Touch ID fingerprint recognition.
While the mPayment platform launched in the country almost a month ago, it was supported at launch only by Sberbank and Mastercard. Now, as MacRumors reports, nine more banks have joined the ranks, including Alfa-Bank, Bank Saint Petersburg, MDM Bank, MTS Bank, Raiffeisenbank, Rocketbank, Tinkoff Bank, and Yandex.Money. Another institution, Russian Standard Bank, says support is on the way.
In announcing its support, one of the new backers, Tinkoff Bank, emphasized the importance of online banking to its customers, with CEO Oliver Hughes asserting that its customers “have been eagerly anticipating Apple Pay”. Tinkoff is an online bank, but with mobile banking on the rise across the board, such demand was likely also a motivation for Apple Pay’s other new Russian backers.
The bank’s statement also highlighted the simplicity of Touch ID authentication. The system has likely encouraged many users to give mPayments a try, and iris-based authentication may play a similar role if it arrives in next year’s iPhone as some anticipate.