QIWI plc (QIWI) (QIWI.ME), a leading provider of next generation payment services ("QIWI"), and MegaFon (MFON.L), a leading Russian telecommunications operator ("MegaFon"), announce the start of a strategic partnership aimed at development of high-tech solutions in electronic payments based on a combination of the business expertise of both companies.
The initial project of the partnership will be the launch of a co-branded product based on Visa QIWI Wallet technology. Currently this solution is unique in the Russian market.
As a result of this partnership, MegaFon's subscribers will now have an opportunity to make commission-free payments for a wide range of products and services supported by the Visa QIWI Wallet. Both the subscriber's mobile phone balance and QIWI's e-wallet accounts can be used as the source of funds. Payments which can be made commission-free include most popular categories like broadband internet, e-commerce, utility bills, and many others.
The co-branded e-wallet has been customized with a "green interface" to reflect the MegaFon brand. It allows users not only to monitor their own balances, but also to see the balances of "favourite" relatives and friends who are also MegaFon subscribers and, if necessary, top up their accounts quickly and free of any commission1. Another attractive feature for MegaFon subscribers is a 0.5% cash rebate for payments conducted through the Visa QIWI Wallet2. Rebates are added to the subscriber's mobile balance and can be used immediately for any payments due.
Sergey Solonin CEO of QIWI commented: "The combination of the extensive knowledge of our cellular operator partner on one hand and the expertise of QIWI, the largest payment provider, on the other, allows us to address a strategic market challenge -- the development of a unique payment product that meets market demands and enhances the customer experience. To build a universal payment technology that allows customers to transact smoothly across a broad platform of payment instruments and interfaces is an important first goal for our new strategic partnership."
"Today we are witnessing the increasing popularity of mobile commerce: over the last 9 months of 2014 the number of MegaFon subscribers who engaged in mobile commerce increased by more than 30%. Clients are getting used to paying for purchases via mobile accounts. Given this, our objective in entering into this project has been to offer MegaFon subscribers a convenient payment service as well as a way to save money -- said Denis Zyryanov, General Director of MegaLabs -- We expect that the combination of high-quality Visa QIWI Wallet functionality and the additional opportunities which we provide as a major mobile operator will make our co-branded product highly attractive for our customers."
Partnership between QIWI and MegaFon is one of the most important steps in implementing our joint Visa QIWI Wallet development strategy. We consider this to be a breakthrough for both the payment industry and the telecom market. We are sure that this project will lead the way for many other successful products revealing new horizons for promotion of the Visa QIWI Wallet." -- said Andrew Torre, CEO Visa Russia.
Several interface options will be available for the users of a co-branded product: the qiwi.ru website and iOs and Android apps, as well as a range of top-up channels including cash top-up via QIWI kiosks, bank card transfer or mobile balance top-up.
New Visa QIWI Wallet customers who are also subscribers of MegaFon will be able to use the new services being offered immediately upon registration of an e-wallet. For all current Visa QIWI Wallet customers services will become fully available by the end of the first quarter of 2015.