In an important legislative milestone, the National Duma started debates on the draft National Payment System law last year, and the Federal Act On Microfinance Services and Microfinance Organizations was signed into law, which put the Finance Ministry in control of some previously unregulated credit markets.
The government markedly stepped up support for electronic payment systems, giving its backing to the Universal Electronic Card project. A part of the E-Card’s functionality will be actualized through the medium of electronic payments. And it will be easier to pay fees to various government agencies.
Russia has recently witnessed a real breakthrough in NFC (Near Field Communication)
Along with NFC, mobile commerce is also going places. The subscribers of Russia’s top three mobile providers, MTS, MegaFon and Beeline, now have the option to make micropayments with their mobile phones.
Russian banks seem much more willing to do business with e-money operators. Alfa-Bank, Sberbank and a few other major banks have linked up with WebMоney, QIWI or Yandex.Dengi, so now their customers can use credit cards to put money in their e-purses or have their e-money providers integrated into their online banking software and ATM menus. Online money cards, offered through e-money systems, are also a growing business in Russia.
Another important trend is that the two biggest social networks in Russia, VKontakte and Odnoklassniki, have launched e-money options tied to their users’ profiles.
As Russia’s e-market continues to thrive, payment systems now look more attractive as business assets. Some of the industry highlights in 2010 were the purchase of a stake in QIWI Ltd. by Japan’s Mitsui&Co and the IPO of Mail.ru Group, which is a shareholder in the e-money systems QIWI and Dengi.Mail.ru.
“Our association has contributed meaningfully to regulation, acting as a consolidated lobbyist for the marketplace vis-à-vis lawmakers and regulators,”
The Electronic Money Association, founded in 2009, unites the foremost e-money players and trade associations. The Association’
In its vision, the Association proposes to advance the e-money market through better laws, putting market players in touch with other businesses and government agencies, popularizing the services purchased with e-money, making the market more transparent, and developing and following the benchmarks of best practice.
For the time being, the central task of the Association is to contribute to the drafting of the laws and regulations for Russia’s e-money market, and to watch the marketplace closely in both qualitative and quantitative terms.
The Association was created on the initiative of i-Free, WebMoney, Yandex.Dengi and QIWI, joined by the national trade associations NAUMIR and NAUET. The Association professes openness and equal opportunity for all members.
Head of Foreign Mass Media Division
+7 499 264 58 29
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About i-Free: i-Free is a Russian innovation-focused company operating in the CIS market since 2001, is a specialist developer and implementer of cutting-edge products and services in mobile technology, electronic finance, NFC technology, digital content distribution, electronic payment systems, micropayments, applications for smartphones and new network devices, B2C digital product marketing, B2B mobile marketing projects, and services.
i-Free has become the first Russian company to join the NFC Forum.
Outside Russia, i-Free operates successfully and has offices in Kiev (Ukraine), Minsk (Belarus), Almaty (Kazakhstan)
i-Free, headquartered in St. Petersburg, also has an office in Moscow. The company currently employs more than 350 staff.