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Alfa-Bank to pilot NFC payments in Russia and the Ukraine

Russia’s largest private bank, Alfa-Bank, is launching NFC mobile payment pilots in Russia and the Ukraine, in partnership with mobile network operator Vimpelcom and Mastercard.

Alfa-Bank

Vimpelcom’s Beeline brand is partnering with the bank for the trial in Russia. The service is currently available to a pilot group of the bank’s customers, who are using HTC smartphones. BPC Banking Technologies’ SmartVista solution is being used for transaction processing and card management.

To use the service, customers are required to download the bank’s mobile app and link their payment card to it. They are then free to pay at Mastercard PayPass terminals with the tap of their phone, with transactions deducted from the bank account linked to the app. Up to 1,000 rubles (US$31.52) can be paid without the need to enter a PIN.

In the Ukraine, the telco’s Kyvistar division is partnering with Alfa-Bank to pilot a similar service that is expected to be made available in the country late this year.

Vera Platonov, CEO of Mastercard in the Ukraine, said: “At this stage, we have prepared a number of SIM cards for testing in a real environment. Today, the market has the necessary infrastructure to launch this project, and our partner banks continue to set the receiving terminals for NFC payments.”

Viktor Markelov, director of product and business development at VimpelCom, said: “In our opinion, NFC is a promising technology and we expect that in the future it will be widely distributed.

“We believe that the technology implemented jointly with Alfa-Bank and Mastercard is the most user-friendly and optimal for all companies participating in the formation of the NFC ecosystem services.”

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