Russian telco MegaFon is to embed a virtual card from Mastercard into its mobile phone accounts to enable subscribers to pay for goods and services using Apple and Samsung handsets.
After subscribers activate the service - which is tokenised via the Mastercard Digital Enablement Service - on their personal account page on MegaFon’s website, it is immediately available for use, turning the mobile phone into a digital payment device.
Yan Kukhalsky, MegaFon’s director of new businesses and partnerships, says: “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."
MegaFon’s customers add funds to the card by simply topping up their mobile phone. In addition, each user may create up to 10 virtual cards linked to one mobile phone account for family and friends.
MegaFon unveiled a physical 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.
Alongisde the virtual MegaFon cards, subscribers can also integrate virtual bank cards with a single click via an inhouse-developed MegaFon.Bank app.
Yan Kukhalsky, MegaFon’s director of new businesses and partnerships, says: “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."