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Digital payment JV announcement

Released 08:00 09-Oct-2019

RNS Number : 2582P Group Limited
09 October 2019 Group, Alipay, USM, MegaFon and RDIF combine efforts to promote financial inclusion in Russia through e-wallet joint venture



October 9, 2019 - Group (MAIL), the leading internet and IT company in Russia, Alipay, the world's leading payment and lifestyle platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, USM, a diversified international holding company, Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia's sovereign wealth fund, and MegaFon, a pan-Russian operator of digital services, today announced a plan to form a joint venture focused on digital payment services for Russian users, as part of efforts to promote financial inclusion across the country.


The new joint venture for payments (Payment JV) will work to accelerate the development of  Russia's digital economy by upgrading the country's digital payment services. The signing of non-binding term sheets for the partnership follows the establishment of AliExpress Russia JV by Group, Alibaba Group, MegaFon, and RDIF in October 2019, which aims to support e-commerce in Russia. Group will provide non-cash asset contributions of and VK Pay to the Payment JV and will become its largest shareholder with 40% stake.




About Group Group (MAIL, listed since November 5, 2010) is the largest internet business in Russia in terms of total daily audience (Mediascope Web Index Desktop+Mobile, Russia, population aged 12-64 in the cities 100,000+, May 2019). Group is developing the leading domestic internet communications and entertainment platform. The company owns Russia's two largest Russian language social networks, VKontakte (VK) and Odnoklassniki (OK), leading email service, one of Russia's largest internet portals (, and three instant messaging services. Group's gaming portfolio under MY.GAMES brand includes Russia's largest MMO games and global mobile games. In 2019, Group Tech Lab was launched with a primary focus on technology and innovation development. Group is a shareholder of AliExpress Russia JV along with Alibaba Group, MegaFon and Russian Direct Investment Fund. The company partners with Sberbank to jointly develop O2O service platform targeting food delivery and taxi markets.


About Alipay

Operated by Ant Financial Services Group, Alipay is the world's leading payment and lifestyle platform. Launched in 2004, Alipay serves over 1.2 billion users with its local e-wallets partners as of June 2019. Over the years, Alipay has evolved from a digital wallet to a lifestyle enabler. Users can hail a taxi, book a hotel, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills, make appointments with doctors, or purchase wealth management products directly from within the app. In addition to online payments, Alipay is expanding to in-store offline payments both inside and outside of China. Alipay's in-store payment service covers over 50 markets across the world, and tax reimbursement via Alipay is supported in 35 markets. Alipay works with over 250 overseas financial institutions and payment solution providers to enable cross-border payments for Chinese travelling overseas and overseas customers who purchase products from Chinese e-commerce sites. Alipay currently supports 27 currencies.


About USM

USM is a diversified international holding company with significant interests across the metals and mining, telecoms, technology and internet sectors. USM's assets include Metalloinvest, a major global producer and supplier of iron ore and steel products; Baikal Mining Company, which owns the largest copper reserves in Russia; MegaFon, a pan-Russian operator of digital services; Group, the largest internet business in Russia; and the Centre for Research in Perspective Technologies, which is developing a Unified National System of digitally coding and tracking products.


About Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) 

Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF's management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 70 projects with foreign partners totaling more than RUB1.5 tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF portfolio companies employ more than 800,000 people and generate revenues which equate to more than 6% of Russia's GDP. RDIF established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 15 countries that total more than $40 bn. Further information can be found at


About MegaFon

MegaFon is a pan-Russian operator of digital services and a three-time winner of the Ookla award for the "Fastest Mobile Communication Network in Russia". Megafon has built the largest LTE/4G network in Russia with more than 100,000 base stations in 83 regions of the country. The company's services are used by 77.6 million customers.


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Digital payment JV announcement - RNS