Visa and QIWI, a provider of payment services in Russia, have formed a strategic alliance to introduce a digital wallet that will enable consumers to access a wide variety of electronic payment options.
The wallet builds on the existing relationship between Visa and QIWI, and will assist Visa in providing new services to its cardholders,while enabling QIWI to extend their kiosk and digital wallet services internationally.
Over the past five years, QIWI has introduced more than 100,000 cash kiosks on street corners, at subway stations and merchant locations helping over 50 million Russian consumers monthly to convert cash into electronic payments. This has resulted in $12 billion in electronic payment volume in 2011.
The QIWI Wallet, with more than 9 million active consumer accounts, will be linked to Visa prepaid payment functionality and services.
As part of the agreement, QIWI and Visa will transition the QIWI wallet from a single bank model to a digital wallet with a stored value account based on Visa prepaid card that can be issued by any Visa client-bank. Over the course of 2013, QIWI and Visa will work to open the QIWI platform to other Visa issuers in Russia and CIS.