Russian Post has signed a deal with credit card company MasterCard to jointly develop financial products and payment technology in post offices.
The deal looks set to pave the way for Russian consumers to pay for products and services in post offices using contactless credit cards through the MasterCard PayPass system.
Russian Post’s director general Alexander Kiselev signed the agreement last week at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum with Ilya Ryabyi, the head of MasterCard in Russia, Belarus and Armenia.
Kiselev said: “The agreement between Russian Post and MasterCard opens new opportunities for our customers. Our cooperation is aiming to introduce innovative technologies that improve the process for consumer services. This way, postal services are becoming higher quality, accessible and convenient for consumers.”
The contactless payment system can speed up the transaction process, and cut post office queues, by not requiring a signature or PIN number in the sale of low-value goods. Customers simply tap their contactless cards on a special reader to make a payment.
Contactless payment is beginning to make waves in European post offices, with the UK’s Post Office Ltd currently in the process of rolling out the technology across its network.
Russian Post and MasterCard have agreed to set up a joint pilot project to develop the infrastructure for contactless payment, with PayPass terminals to be introduced to more than 2,000 post offices.
The two companies could also take this technology further to introduce systems to let consumers make payments using their mobile phones, if equipment with Near Field Communication technology.
The agreement also paves the way for other joint projects, including a pilot for use of MasterCard Mobile Platforms, a mobile payment platform that would allow businesses to receive online payments via the Russian Post website.
And, a money transfer pilot is also on the cards, using Russian Post’s retail network to provide non-cash money transfers using MasterCard’s MoneySend system.
Russian Post said it is also considering offering a MasterCard loyalty programme.
Ilya Ryabyi said: “The mission of MasterCard is to provide solutions for secure, simple and convenient payment. Russia is a priority country for MasterCard, so we are pleased to offer a range of technologies including those designed specifically for the Russian market, such as the MasterCard Mobile platform, to allow Russian Post customers to make payments and transfers through modern facilities.”
Source: Post&Parcel/Russian Post