I-Free is offering a number of contactless payment services in Russia, including a mobile wallet that allows the remote issuance and download of mobile MasterCard PayPass cards, transportation fare services and geolocation-based coupons.
The mobile MasterCard PayPass card is issued by Tinkoff Credit Systems Bank. Payments can be executed at the point of sale by touching their mobile phone to a contactless reader that supports PayPass. Users can also pay for goods and services from within the application.
The Near Field Communication-based mobile wallet is currently integrated into three phone models, the Phillips W336, the HTC One and the NTC SV. The application supporting the wallet is embedded in the phone as a part of the system software.
"According to our estimates no fewer than one million such phones will appear on the Russian market before the year is out," says Pavel Sokolov, i-Free's project leader, in a release.
I-Free will add platform support for NFC-compatible SIM cards from mobile carriers in the near future. That will provide access to bank, transportation and other service providers for a broader consumer audience, I-Free said in the release.
Other companies pursuing contactless payment tech in Russia include Alioth, which is teaming with NXP Semiconductors to launch a card that combines payments with a range of other functions.