Megafon, a leading Russian integrated telecommunication service provider, and Mastercard have presented two joint initiatives at the interface between telecommunications and banking technologies at Mobile World Congress 2018 held in Barcelona. Starting from March 1, MegaFon’s subscribers will be offered an opportunity to link their mobile phone account to Apple Pay or Samsung Pay by creating a virtual MasterCard card and tokenizing it via the Mastercard platform (Mastercard Digital Enablement Service, MDES). As a result, MegaFon’s customers will be able to pay for their purchases with just a tap of their smartphone.
”After subscribers activate this service on their personal account page on MegaFon’s website, it is immediately available for use, and a mobile phone becomes a digital payment tool. The only restriction is that the maximum amount that may be debited from an account totals RUB 100,000 per month.”, according to the press release.
“We hope to encourage most users of Apple and Samsung devices in our network to subscribe to this service. This will considerably increase the penetration of cashless payment services in Russia. This unique project will offer new opportunities to our subscribers in Russia and will serve as a precedent in global practice. I believe that it will not only make new payment technologies more accessible but will also open up new avenues for telecommunications companies in the sphere of financial services,” commented Yan Kukhalsky, MegaFon’s Director of New Businesses and Partnerships.
Another project launched jointly with Mastercard enables MegaFon’s subscribers to create a virtual Mastercard bank card literally in one click. This can be done via the MegaFon.Bank app developed by MegaLabs. After the card is linked to the Apple Pay, Android Pay or Samsung Pay service, it can be used to pay for purchases both online and offline. Customers will receive a 20% cashback for every third purchase. Payments are also made using the Mastercard tokenization technology.
MegaFon’s customers can top up the card by simply topping up their mobile phone; in addition, they can manage their account using remote services. Each user may create up to 10 virtual cards linked to one mobile phone account. The user can then give the cards to his or her family members and monitor their expenses via his or her account.
MegaFon unveiled a Mastercard bank card linked to a mobile phone account in August 2016. The cards are issued by Round Bank. They are available in any outlet of the mobile network operator. By the end of 2017, over 1.2 million MegaFon cards were issued. MegaFon cards are used primarily for paying for telecommunications services (33%) and shopping in supermarkets (25%); in some regions, the top categories of expenses also include financial services.
The average size of payments for goods and services totals RUB 800 per transaction. MegaFon cards are used predominantly by men, who make up 60% of the total number of users (while women account for 40%). 87% of people using the contactless payment technology use ApplePay (the share of this service is the largest in the North-Western Region, where it totals 90%, while in the Far East it has the smallest share at 81%). Furthermore, on average, Apple users spend more per purchase.
As from March 1, 2018, MegaFon’s customers will be able to create virtual cards.
Payments made with a virtual card also use the Mastercard tokenization technology, which involves replacing the actual number of a customer’s card with a unique generated code called a token.
“A virtual bank card is convenient and easy to create. To do so, you do not need to visit a bank office, fill in forms or applications, as MegaFon’s subscriber base has already been identified by the operator,” said Yan Kukhalsky, MegaFon’s Director of New Businesses and Partnerships.
“MegaFon and Mastercard enjoy a long-standing cooperation, which started when the mobile network operator launched its own Mastercard bank card. We have now made a new digital step towards the future together: when developing new products, we are guided by the principle that any device connected to the Internet can become a simple, secure and convenient payment tool,” emphasized Mikhail Fedoseev, Director of Business Development and Digital Payments of Mastercard in Russia, Belarus, Armenia and Kazakhstan.
MegaFon PJSC is a leading Russian integrated telecommunication service provider operating in all segments of the telecommunications markets in Russia and in the Republics of Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Tajikistan. MegaFon is a recognized market leader in the provision of mobile data services; it was the first operator in Russia to launch a commercial third generation (3G) network and the first operator in the world to launch a commercial LTE-Advanced (4G) data network.
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