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QIWI hopes Visa partnership brings its digital wallet to the world

Dec 04, 2012 Dave King

QIWI hopes Visa partnership brings its digital wallet to the world
In Russian society - unlike in the United States - cash is still preferred in most transactions. But over the past five years, a Russian company has added more than 100,000 cash kiosks on streets, in subway stations and in stores - not to retrieve cash, but to convert it into electronic payment options to pay bills and make online purchases.
 Now, QIWI Limited, a provider of payment services in Russia, is introducing a digital wallet that
it hopes to sell to millions of people in Russia and other countries, potentially including the U.S., according to The Financial. The firm has teamed up with Visa to take its services global. When they link to Visa, the digital wallets will become stored value accounts accessed by a prepaid card, which can be used online, from mobile devices and at the self-service kiosks. In a release, QIWI's CEO Sergey Solonin stated the partnership with an American-based company like Visa will "open up a wide variety of payment products and services for banks, mobile operators, billers, e-merchants and retailers." The Financial reports that QIWI's self-service cash-to-electronic payment kiosks have serviced an estimated 50 million Russians who made $12 billion in electronic payments in 2011.