First NFC wallet with remote Mobile MasterCard PayPass issued in Russia and CIS


A company called i-Free has introduced the first full-featured NFC wallet in Russia and CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States). Embedded in smartphones and the TSM (Trusted Service Manager) platform, the wallet, says i-Free, brings all the advantages of NFC technology to Russian and CIS consumers, including the remote issue and secure download of Mobile MasterCard PayPass® cards.

Both the NFC wallet and the TSM platform were developed by i-Free specifically to support mobile contactless payment technology. Three services are available to users: the Mobile MasterCard PayPass payment card issued by Tinkoff Credit Systems Bank, transportation fare cards for a number of regional centers in Russia, and a geolocation-based coupon service. Until now, such services have only been available to a small number of users, but this announcement heralds the beginning of broader commercial use.

A package solution including NFC wallet and TSM platform allows users to significantly extend the usefulness of their smartphones, transforming the device into a universal storage unit for the latest smart cards and their associated applications.

This new solution, says the company, is radically different from current NFC solutions available in Russia and the CIS, in that it enables users to download payment, transportation and other cards in the same way as they download games and apps. All the user needs to do to make a payment at a point-of-sale is to touch contactless reader that supports the MasterCard PayPass technology with their phone. Both the NFC wallet and TSM platform comply with the highest security standards, and are protected against fraud at the software and hardware levels. The TSM platform also complies with all required industrial standards, and takes into account the requirements and specifications of the Russian transportation infrastructure.

“The smartphone with NFC wallet support will significantly increase market share in the coming months. According to our estimates no fewer than one million such phones will appear on the Russian market before the year is out,” says Pavel Sokolov, i-Free’s project leader. “When we were creating the NFC wallet, we took into account that we were developing an application that people would use every day, so we focused on making the wallet secure and easy to use by anyone. That is why we designed a simple, self-explanatory user interface and embedded many functions so that using the app would be intuitive.”

The NFC wallet offers not only the basic functions of Mobile MasterCard PayPass card download and use in retail and service outlets, but also the ability to pay for goods and services from within the application itself. The user can buy a ticket for public transportation or download a coupon and pay for it with a bank card in a single click.

“This launch of the first NFC service in Russia that supports remote Mobile MasterCard PayPass card issue and personalization is a milestone event in the development of NFC infrastructure and services available to Russian banks and their customers,” said Dmitry Tartyshev, Vice President of Mobile Business Development for MasterCard in Russia.

Today, the NFC wallet is integrated into three smartphone models – the Philips W336, the HTC One and the HTC One SV. The application supporting the wallet is embedded in the phone as a part of the system software, which ensures the compatibility with the hardware characteristics of those specific phone models and makes available all the functionality of the Android platform.

Kirill Gorynya, Head of i-Free Innovations commented, “This is the first full-featured NFC solution on the Russian and CIS market and we hope that its arrival will encourage interested companies to create and implement NFC compatible services to meet the needs of today’s mobile consumers. International experience shows that there is a high demand for NFC services in different areas of life and business across widely different social groups.”

The i-Free TSM platform support for NFC-compatible SIM-cards from mobile carriers will be added in the near future and will provide access to bank, transportation, and other service providers for a broader consumer audience.

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Categories: Mobile Payments, Mobile Wallet, Near Field Communications

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