At Mobile World Congress, MasterCard and VimpelCom today announced a strategic partnership combining MasterCard’s best in class mobile payments technology and solutions with VimpelCom’s globally integrated telecommunications services. The partnership will provide innovative payment solutions to a new generation of customers, both banked and underserved, to VimpelCom’s 212 million customers in 18 countries.
While key markets have been identified for the roll out of mobile money services, a prepaid program in Italy for Wind Italy’s customers, in partnership with CartaLIS. Italy will be the first program to launch in 2013.
Further country and market deployments will leverage the full range of both companies’ complementary solution suites. MasterCard and VimpelCom will bring secure and flexible solutions that answer consumers and merchants’ payment needs wherever they are in the world.
Mikhail Gerchuk, Group Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer of VimpelCom, comments: “ Mobile phones are at the center of peoples’ social and commercial lives. Today, in many of the countries where VimpelCom operates, mobile penetration is much higher than ownership of a bank account. We are pleased to be partnering with MasterCard to deliver innovative and reliable financial services solutions over our mobile networks. We share the vision of providing our existing and future customers with quick, convenient and secure ways to pay locally and remotely. This collaboration will also help us to strengthen our customers’ experience by offering value add services including, but not limited to person to person payments, bill payments and mobile commerce.”Hany Fam, President Strategic Alliances at MasterCard Europe concludes: “ The convergence of the physical and digital worlds is increasingly offering more payment and commercial options along with increased consumer choice and greater convenience. Multiple access devices such as smartphones, laptops, and tablets mean that consumers’ behavior is dramatically evolving worldwide. By partnering with VimpelCom, one of the world’s largest integrated telecommunications services operators, MasterCard is addressing mobile payments that will replace cash in the day-to-day life of millions of people and drive financial inclusion across the globe.” Find a complete list of MasterCard’s news announcements from Mobile World Congress in our Digital Press Kit and follow us @MasterCardNews #MWCashless #MAMobileSymp to join the conversation. Disclaimer This press release contains “forward-looking statements”, as the phrase is defined in Section 27A of the Securities Act and Section 21E of the Exchange Act. These statements relate to the timing and scope of the continued partnership between VimpelCom and MasterCard regarding mobile payments technology and solutions. These and other forward-looking statements are based on management’s best assessment of VimpelCom’s position and of future market conditions and trends. These discussions involve risks and uncertainties. The actual outcome may differ materially from these statements as a result of continued volatility in the economies in our markets, unforeseen developments from competition, governmental regulation of the telecommunications industries, general political uncertainties in our markets and/or litigation with third parties. There can be no assurance that such risks and uncertainties will not have a material adverse effect on VimpelCom. Certain factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those discussed in any forward-looking statements include the risk factors described in VimpelCom’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31, 2011 and other public filings made by VimpelCom with the SEC, which risk factors are incorporated herein by reference. VimpelCom disclaims any obligation to update developments of these risk factors or to announce publicly any revision to any of the forward-looking statements contained in this release, or to make corrections to reflect future events or developments.