Russian Standard Bank and MasterCard launch NFC payments for Samsung users in Russia

Russian Standard Bank and MasterCard have teamed up with Samsung to launch contactless payments on Samsung mobiles in Russia.

Russian Standard Bank, MasterCard and Samsung have teamed up to launch contactless mobile payments on Samsung devices in Russia.

Users of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Note 3 will be able to upload Russian Standard Bank’s MasterCard prepaid NFC cards onto their devices via the lender’s mobile app.

Dmitry Tartyshev, leader of mobile business development at MasterCard Russia, said: “Russia is one of the priority markets for MasterCard, and we are pleased to offer state-of-the-art technology and solutions to Russian consumers.

“In partnership with Samsung, we launched a similar solution in Australia in 2013. We are excited that the second project of this kind is being implemented in Russia, in partnership with our longstanding partner, Russian Standard Bank.

“I am confident that this project will become a milestone, not just for the Russian payments industry, but for its global, history as well.”

Users do not have to be customers of Russian Standard Bank to use the service, based on MasterCard’s Paypass technology, but they will need to download the bank’s app.

The customer activates NFC payments by choosing the “PayPass card” icon in the app menu, provides a mobile phone number and then receives a four-digit code confirming card issuance.

The user must then fund the card and choose the “Don’t enter the NFC code” option in the app to make payments of up to RUB1,000 ($29.40) without entering a PIN code.

“We are excited that Russian Standard Bank is first on the market to implement this advanced technology together with Samsung and MasterCard and offer such a service to Russian consumers”, said Ivan Glazachev, acquiring department director at Russian Standard Bank.

MasterCard, along with global card network Visa, has had a troubled relationship with Russia in the last few months.

Following Western sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Russia passed new legislation in April which required Visa and MasterCard to pay a joint $3.8bn security deposit to work in the country.

The law, set to go into effect on 1 July, would have enabled Moscow to confiscate 25% of the companies’ average daily turnover in Russia from the last quarter and required card operations to be cleared through a national payment system.

After MasterCard and Visa threatened to withdraw from Russia, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said the requirements and restrictions would be lowered significantly without fully relieving the companies of responsibility.

Additionally, Visa and MasterCard’s blocked credit card services to several Russian financial institutions in March of this year, including InvestKapitalBank and SMP Bank.

Both payment networks resumed processing payment transactions towards the end of March on the orders of the US government, which said the banks did not qualify for sanctions.