Apple Inc. (AAPL - Analyst Report) recently expanded the availability of its mobile payment service Apple Pay in Russia. For this, the company has partnered with Mastercard (MA - Analyst Report) and Moscow-based Sberbank in the region.
Russia is the tenth market where this service has been launched. Apple had introduced Apple Pay, a contactless payment technology to offer a hassle-free experience, in 2014. Initially, the service took off with over 220K merchants in the U.S. alone and in partnership with global card processing giants – Visa (V - Analyst Report) and MasterCard. The service has been expanded to regions like the UK, Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Switzerland and others.
Earlier this year, at WWDC 2016, the company revealed that Apple Pay will be expanded to enable web payments and will also be available for International Business Machines Corporation’s (IBM - Analyst Report) WebSphere Commerce. The company stated that it already has over 11 million contactless-ready locations to facilitate payments in these regions, while in the U.S. there are about 3 million locations that accept Apple Pay.
Moreover, as per the latest data, the number of monthly active users for this service has gone up around 450% year over year and nearly half of Apple Pay’s transaction volume is from international markets.
Per reports, the company intends to roll out the service in most markets in Asia and Europe. We expect the service to get momentum going ahead as a significant portion of Apple users do not have devices compatible with Apple Pay. As the upgrade cycle matures, Apple Pay should get an impressive boost.
Currently, Apple has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.
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