Megafon and Visa present new virtual payment card
Major Russian mobile operator Megafon and global payment card giant Visa presented the Megafon-Visa Online Card last week. Megafon subscribers need only send an SMS request to receive the virtual card, which allows them to pay for any goods or services offered online using the money available on their mobile account.
This new product is a step forward in the introduction of a universal payment instrument, said Megafon press secretary Yulia Dorokhina to CNews.ru, an online publication covering Russian telecom and IT markets.
Several similar virtual payment cards have been launched in Russia over the past few years. The first, the Qiwi Visa Virtual Card, appeared in 2009.
MTS, another major mobile operator, has no virtual card in its payment system Legkiy Platezh (Easy Payment in Russian) platform. In April this year it did launch a co-branded plastic card with MasterCard under the name MTS Dengi (MTS Money in Russian). The card has, however, no direct link to mobile accounts.
Rostelecom is also perparing a virtual card project, CNews.ru reported. The national telecom operator is currently selecting a partner.