Friday, October 08, 2010
We have recently launched in Russia a new service called EasyPayment. The subscribers can now pay for different services, both MTS’s and other companies’ using their mobiles by transferring funds from either their bank or personal accounts with MTS. EasyPayment allows payments for municipal services, cable TV, landline, Internet and many others with low to no commission.
Each transaction takes 1-2 minutes with the minimum transaction amount equal to RUB 10 and the maximum to RUB 15,000 for payments from a MTS personal account and up to RUB 30,000 for payments using a bank account.
The user interface for payments allows a greater degree of flexibility as subscribers can now use special applications developed for handsets on the Windows Mobile, Symbian and iPhone operating systems. The Android version is currently being developed. The applications can be downloaded following receipt of a SMS message containing a link to the download page. iPhone users can find the application in the Apple App Store. The subscribers also can make payments using a web-portal or the USSD-service*.
For EasyPayment, MTS partnered with the Bank of Moscow, 1st Processing Bank, a supplier of e-commerce solutions Intervale and the QIWI payment system.
EasyPayment is an improvement from a previous service MTS-Pay that was launched in October 2008 and allowed subscribers to only transfer funds using their bank accounts. In June 2010 we won the prestigious Global Telecoms Business Innovation Award in the “Consumer bank-card innovation” for MTS-Pay.
We consider the mobile payment market in Russia to have good growth prospects on the back of strong existing demand. Given the country’s high wireless penetration and the relatively low credit card penetration and indeed use, services such as MTS’ EasyPayment that allow to use mobile accounts to make payments could play an important part in the development of mobile commerce in Russia. Our projects in this field include money transfers (launched in April 2010); as well as the partnership with the Moscow Metro allowing passengers to buy tickets using their mobiles at the turnstiles utilizing the NFC** technology (tentative launch at the end of 2010).
* USSD - Unstructured Supplementary Service Data.
** NFC - Near Field Communication.
Friday, September 25, 2009
By Timothy Doherty, Research Analyst for Small and Medium Business Mobility Markets for IDC
IDC has recently published a report
examining the small and medium business initiatives of MTS, and we wanted to share the key insights here on the MTS IR Blog.
As in other regions worldwide, the small and medium-business (SMB) market in Russia represents a significant untapped revenue opportunity for operators, but presents a number of challenges. SMBs typically have fewer IT resources than large enterprises to rely on when making technology purchase decisions, making customer education vital. Although the SMB market in aggregate constitutes a substantial opportunity, each individual customer represents a relatively modest volume; efficiencies in marketing and ongoing customer support are therefore of paramount importance. MTS has implemented a number of strategies in its core Russian market to target the small and medium-sized business market.
Like SMB-savvy operators in the United States and Western Europe
, MTS is leveraging an SMB web portal to better manage its SMB customers. Online portals not only allow direct payments, but also let customers explore and opt in and out of services. Given the vast size of Russia, the web portal is one of the efficient ways MTS can interact with subscribers and provide customer support.
While enterprises frequently have a dedicated operator support representative to rely on, this model is not cost-effective for SMBs. Still, to cultivate customer loyalty and sell deeper into customers, some sort of support relationship must exist. Akin to small business specialists at other operators in more developed markets in North America and Europe, MTS has small business curators: development managers who analyze service usage by customers and promote the benefits of additional services. The curator program allows MTS to educate its existing customer base and sell through additional phone lines and services; since the launch of the program, MTS reports that a typical small business customer initially purchases two lines, but adds another four lines inside the first 6 months.
To get more insight into the MTS work in the SMB market, please refer to our recent report
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
We are delighted to inform you that MTS was recognized at a ceremony hosted at the Radisson SAS Slavyanskaya in Moscow, Russia, and was awarded three “Crystal Headsets.” Our macro-region North-West call center (located in Saint Petersburg) and its head Ms. Elena Kopshar won in the “Best Internal Relations in a Call Center” and “Best Team Leader” nominations respectively. Our colleagues at the MTS Ukraine call center won in the “Best Call Center Infrastructure” category.
MTS Russia has a total of 10 call centers with over 3,000 employees servicing subscribers in 11 times zones and responding to an average of 16 million calls per month. Our North-West macro-region call center has a total of 250 employees and is responsible for subscribers in nine federal regions making up Russia’s North-West. MTS Ukraine has a total of 3 call centers located in Kyiv, Lvov and Donetsk with over 1,000 employees.
Photo: Team spirit training by the North-West call center.
Photo: Head of North-West call center, Ms. Elena Kopshar.