Russia appears to be gearing up for the contactless revolution with PayWave and PayPass.
It was announced earlier this week that Visa will launching its PayWave contactless payment system in the Sedmoi Kontinent (Seven Continents) range of retail outlets with VTB carrying out the processing. MasterCard have also launched their PayPass contactless payment system with the Perekryostok (Crossroads) chain in Moscow and St. Petersburg.
The retailers themselves were reported as being happy with the new payment system. If fact it looks as though the retailers are big proponents of the new contactless revolution. “A significant proportion of payments are less than 200 rubles,” said Marketing Director,” The Seventh Continent “Sergei Kluchenko. “In this regard, the introduction of contactless purchases of up to 1,000 rubles, which does not require ID from the customer, will help relieve the workload of line personnel, increase the speed of customer service, and provide opportunities for the introduction of various bonuses and savings programs.”
Mikhail Susov, director of corporate relations at the X5 Retail Group, which operates Perekryostok chain, also agreed. “The contactless payment method will help make our customer’s purchases convenient and fast,” he was quoted as saying.
According to Russia’s Central Bank Data, the total number of cards issued in Russia in April of this year totalled 190.7 million, down from the beginning of the year by 5%. The number of cards with NFC-applications (providing contactless payments) is not presently monitored by market participants. “The monthly growth in card issuance of PayWave is about 50% from the previous period, despite the fact that in most of our package offers the card is issued for an additional fee,” explained the head of Development Package Proposals at Alfa Bank, Irina Voronchihina. Alfa-Bank started issuance on PayWave cards in October last year.