Airship

Russia Embraces eMoney Technology

Andy Penfold

Mobile 'e-money' use in Russia is on the rise, according to the country's Electronic Money Association. Users put $2.46bn (£1.54bn) into their eMoney wallets in 2010, compared to $1.4bn in 2009. The number of active eMoney users in Russia rose 50 per cent to 30m last year. 

Russia has also seen leaps forward in NFC and mCommerce. Subscribers to Russia's top three mobile providers, MTS, MegaFon and Beeline, now have the option to make micropayments with their mobile phones. Banks and mobile providers have also started to implement public transport payment options with NFC cards or mobile phones. 

In other developments, the Federal Act On Microfinance Services and Microfinance Organizations has been passed. This puts the Finance Ministry in control of some previously unregulated credit markets. And, the Russian government has pledged support for electronic payment systems, giving its backing to the Universal Electronic Card project, which will make it easier to pay fees to various government agencies, according to the Electronic Money Association.