MasterCard Europe has teamed with Russian bank Ural Sib to launch a bank-issued EMV chip-based 'social card' that will be used to store the personal information of welfare recipients in Russia.
For the first time in Europe, the co-branded chip-based social card will be used in the place of various forms of documentation, says MasterCard. The card will be bank-issued and loaded with the welfare beneficiary's personal data, which is recognised when the card is used to claim social benefits.
Fikret Ates, VP of chip product management, MasterCard Worldwide, says the card uses contemporary chip technology so several social benefits can be stored on the card and triggered by beneficiaries.
"The chip technology also allows benefits to be added or modified during the lifetime of the card," says Ates. "Currently, the Russian welfare system involves complicated, expensive processing, so a multi-application chip card is the natural solution."
MasterCard says it is open to extending the card-based system throughout Europe.
Andrey Donskikh, first vice president of Ural Sib, says: "The social card programme supports a move away from a paper-based social benefits system to a cost-saving electronic infrastructure, with reduced administration requirements.
"In Russia, we can already see applications in areas such as transport, healthcare, household utility payments and telecommunications, but the chip-technology allows many more features to be added in the future."