MasterCard Inc. and telco VimpelCom Ltd. are testing a Near Field Communication-based mobile payments service at a Russian bank.
The two companies first announced their payments partnership in February. Moscow-based VimpelCom will provide the service through its Beeline brand, integrating an application from Alfa Bank and using MasterCard's PayPass technology to allow consumers to make contactless payments.
The service will initially be available to a pilot group of Alfa Bank customers.
VimpelCom has nearly 212 million subscribers in 18 countries, according to a MasterCard press release.
"Today, in many of the countries where VimpelCom operates, mobile penetration is much higher than ownership of a bank account," Mikhail Gerchuk, commercial and strategy officer at VimpelCom, states in the release.
"This collaboration will help us to strengthen our customers' experience by offering value-added services including, but not limited to person-to-person payments, bill payments and mobile commerce," Gerchuk adds.