Launch of Apple Pay in Russia

On October 4, Apple Pay officially launched in Russia, with Sberbank and MasterCard as the first partners of the service. In the article, we get acquainted with the service, its features and interesting information from Sberbank.

Why the launch of Apple Pay is important

“Yes, I have been paying from my Android smartphone through the NFC module for a hundred years,” some of our readers must have thought. However, there is something in common between iOS and Android users: they are unlikely to switch to another system just because it has contactless smartphone payment.

My main device is the iPhone 6, and although I know that the same Tinkoff or Kukuruza already have the ability to pay through Android applications, this makes me neither hot nor cold. I want this feature to be on my main smartphone, and its appearance makes me very happy.

Why Sberbank?

After the presentation, information began to appear on various news sites that Sberbank took advantage of its unique position in the market to get an exclusive to work with Apple Pay. Oleg Tinkov also wrote about this on his Instagram. Customers of other banks will have to wait a bit, for them Apple Pay will appear in November.

How does Apple Pay work?

In order to start using the service, you will need a MasterCard Sberbank card and an iPhone 6 or older. To begin with, the card is added through the Wallet, you receive confirmation in the Sberbank application, after which it can be seen in the “wallet” itself. Unfortunately, I did not have a corresponding card, so when describing a job, I take the words of Sberbank employees as a basis.

So, you turn on your smartphone by double pressing the Home button, select the desired card in Wallet and put your iPhone back to the terminal. It's just as easy with the watch: double-click on the button on the right, select a card and pay. At the presentation, it was said several times that it is better to show this technology live than to describe it in words, so below is a short video showing the payment.

Payment security is achieved in two levels. Firstly, authorization by TouchID, and secondly, the fact that the card data itself is not stored in the Wallet application, only a special 16-digit token associated with a specific device "lies" there.

Apple Pay in online stores

On some websites of Sberbank partners, the Apple Pay support icon has already appeared, everything also works extremely simply. If you are viewing the store page on an iPhone, then simply click on the Apple Pay icon, log in with your fingerprint, and that's it, the purchase is complete! It is very convenient that you do not need to drive in not only the card number with all the data, but also the delivery address, everything is picked up automatically! If you pay from a "poppy", then you will need to confirm the purchase using a fingerprint from your phone.

Other interesting information from the presentation

Thanks to the introduction of Apple Pay, Sberbank decided to upgrade its fleet of POS-terminals and completely switch to models that support wireless payment. Let me remind you that now in about half of the places where Sberbank acts as an acquirer, there is no such support (Victoria, Karusel, Burger King). Old terminals will be replaced free of charge. The bank plans to completely replace the equipment of all federal partners this year, and by the end of 2017 — all terminals in principle. If the launch of Apple Pay pushed them to such a step, then even this fact in itself is already a great blessing. According to my observations, it is Sber terminals that are most often not equipped with PayPass support.

As you know, Apple Pay charges a small fee for every transaction. I was wondering who in the end pays for it, the bank or the seller. Sberbank replied that in this case, the seller and the buyer are both clients of the bank, so the bank will pay the Apple Pay commission.

All transactions using Apple Pay are immediately in Wallet and in the list of operations on the Sberbank card. I was wondering if there were any differences in MCC codes or payment display, but it turned out that on the statement, the Apple Pay transaction will not stand out from other purchases in any way, which is great.

Differences from Samsung Pay

At the presentation of Sberbank, they did not answer the question about the differences from Samsung Pay, but it's okay, I can tell you about them myself. The big difference between Samsung and Apple Pay is that the former supports magnetic stripe payments, while the latter only supports NFC. Objectively, Samsung's solution is more universal. But, as I said, if I have an iPhone, then I will not switch to Galaxy only because of this advantage.

On the other hand, on the side of Apple Pay, simple and convenient payment on sites. I really liked the speed of transactions in online stores, two or three clicks, and the purchase is completed, without the need to show your card details.

Than Used 22' LG TV Apple Pay can be better than cards?

When comparing regular PayPass and paying from a phone, the following example is traditionally given: in the case of a card, you took out a wallet, pulled out a card, attached it, and that’s it, but when buying from a smartphone, you have to first pull it out, then unlock it, then select the desired card and only then apply. However, they forget about one important clarification, as a rule, when we stand in line, our smartphone is already in our hands and there is no need to reach for it anywhere.


If you look objectively, then paying by phone does not bring any significant advantages, and here I agree with Eldar Murtazin that this is more an entertainment option than a functional one. But remember the appearance of the same PayPass / PayWave: “Why should I pay with a touch when I can insert a card?” And where are these arguments now? Millions of people pay with a touch, and this is very convenient, especially in any fast food or coffee shop, where every second saved is important for the establishment.

I can't predict the long-term popularity of the service, but at first we will definitely see a surge in smartphone payment activity. People like this feature, they will want to “play around” with it, and after a couple of months it will already be possible to see if users appreciate the convenience of Apple Pay.

What do you say, dear readers? This time, it is especially interesting to read the opinion of iPhone owners: will you use Apple Pay or not?