MegaFon, VimpelCom and Gemalto launch NFC services in Moscow

MegaFon and VimpelCom have teamed up with digital security provider Gemalto for its multi-tenant near field communications (NFC) SIMs.

The SIMs will allegedly enable MegaFon and VimpelCom’s combined base of 180 million subscribers to benefit from the Russian capital of Moscow’s mobile ticketing program.

They are compatible with NFC smartphones and are designed to allow customers to board metro trains, trams and busses across the city by tapping their handsets on a contactless reader.

“The Mobile Ticket project is another step in implementing MegaFon's mobile commerce development strategy. We endeavour for subscribers to see their mobile phone account as a fully-fledged financial tool they can use for day-to-day expenses,” said Hayk Karapetyan, director of financial service at MegaLabs3 – a MegaFon subsidiary.

“We see potential in this new service, firstly, because the popularity of mobile payments is rising rapidly; during the first six months of 2015 the number of payments increased 60% compared to the same period in 2014 and revenue from mobile financial services rose 30%. Secondly, we are seeing a rise in the number of NFC-enabled devices in our network. Over the last year this number has almost doubled both in Moscow and across the country.”

In December 2014, Gemalto partnered with Chunghwa Telecom in Taiwan for the commercial launch of NFC services in the country.