Apple is quietly making it easier for consumers to buy digital goods without needing a credit card.
Starting this week, Apple users in Russia can purchase music, books, games and other apps by typing in their phone number and having the items charged to their monthly bill. No plastic required.
In Russia, Apple is partnering with Beeline, the domestic unit of Amsterdam-based mobile phone company VimpelCom, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. On the payment information page within account settings, a user who chooses to pay by mobile now sees the following:
"Mobile phone billing is available in Russia for Beeline mobile customers. A verification will be sent to you."
The launch comes a month after a similar agreement in Germany with Telefonica's O2, the first deal of its kind for the iPhone maker.