BARCELONA, Spain, Feb. 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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." For a complete list of MasterCard news announcements from Mobile World Congress, please visit (add information – confirming with digital team the link to the MWC Digital Press Kit.)