‘Big Three’ allow mobile customers to make cross-network payments

30 Jan 2012

Russia’s self-styled ‘Big Three’ wireless operators – Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), Vimpelcom and MegaFon – have agreed to allow customers to make cross-network payments on restaurant and utilities bills and goods purchases, Bloomberg reports citing an emailed joint statement from the trio. In a bid to boost the number of people that use mobile wallet solutions, the agreement will allow subscribers of a particular cellco to make mobile payments to a retailer which is locked into an agreement with a different provider – a feat which was previously unavailable. According to local news agency Interfax, Russians paid bills totalling RUB20 billion (USD648 million) using their mobile phone accounts in 2011, a five-fold increase compared to 2010.