Russian telecom operator to enter crowded local payment arena

Russian telecom service provider Rostelecom is developing its own payment service with plans to launch in Q4 2014. The news

Russian telecom service provider Rostelecom is developing its own payment service with plans to launch in Q4 2014.

The news was leaked by 2 unspecified sources from within Rostelecom. Andrey Polyakov, an official spokesman for the operator confirmed the leaked news, and stated the firm is looking into entering Russia’s financial service market. Putting together a proprietary payment system is part of Rostelecom’s plans in achieving its final goal. However, Polyakov did not add any details on how the telecommunications company plans to achieve this, or what the final goal is.

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According to a Russian E-payment law passed back in 2011, Rostelecom is required to apply and obtain a license to legally operate as a non-banking credit entity.

According to the 2 sources, Rostelecom mobile payment plans are expected to be more banking oriented rather than electronic and mobile wallets. The service will offer more than simple payments and will integrate conventional banking tools. No in-depth details were provided in regards to this statement as well.

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According to the sources and Polyakov, the payment feature is projected to generate “a few billion rubles a year” (roughly $100 million), eventually resulting in a 15% market share within a few years. This figure was quickly thwarted by Viktor Dostov, the president of Russia’s Electronic Money Association, stating the firm at best will reach a 10% share of the Russian E-payment market.

Rostelecom is focusing on its current customer base to jump start the endeavor by automatically attaching the service to existing Rostelecom telecom accounts.

Rostelecom will face stiff competition in Russia from the likes of Yandex.Money, WebMoney, Qiwi, and recent entry PayPal.

 

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