Users of Russian online payments giant Yandex Money will now be able to make contactless payments on their phones. Or Android users will, at least. The firm is using near field communications (NFC) to let customers tap and pay on the metro, supermarkets and other public places. MasterCard is powering the service.
When Yandex.Money customers update their apps they are issued a virtual MasterCard, which then reflects the balance of their Yandex.Money e-wallet. NFC MasterCard payments are now accepted by around 4m merchants in 74 countries and in Russia the number is up 138% in the last year. That uptick reflects the growing popularity of contactless payments in Europe as consumers opt for the speedier option. Yandex.Money is reportedly used by 25m users.
The move comes as momentum continues to grow around mobile payments in Europe with the entrance of Apple Pay last year and Samsung Pay imminent expected to drive the use of mobile phones as a way to pay in store. While battery issues and security, plus limited acceptance in the case of Apple Pay, mean it’s still early days, contactless card use continues to boom.
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