It Has Been 8 Years Since the First On-line Payment for Mobile Services was Made through CyberPlat®
August 12, 1998 has become a milestone in the history of the Russian electronic commerce – CyberPlat® conducted the first topping up of a mobile account. Vimpel-Communications OJSC (BEELINE trademark) was the first mobile operator to support CyberPlat® payments.
The fact that CyberPlat® makes it possible for the majority of the Russian population to easily use telecommunication technologies (mobile communications, Internet, etc.) is of great social importance. New payment infrastructure developed by CyberPlat® plays a decisive role in overcoming the problem of the so-called "digital inequality" in the Russian Federation. Thanks to CyberPlat® one can top up his/her mobile account at any payment point with a sum much less than the minimal cost of a prepaid card – even 10-20 rubles would be enough. Statistics show that half of all CyberPlat® transactions are payments amounting to less than 80-90 rubles. At the average payment amount continues diminishing. It clearly demonstrates that CyberPlat® actively contributes to the growth of mobile communication networks in Russia with more and more potential subscribers from preschool age upwards connecting. It is obvious that the formerly dominating system of paying for mobile communication services at the offices of mobile operators was not convenient for the growing number of subscribers. Wasting time standing in queues to top up a mobile account seriously hindered the development of mobile communication and other similar services such as Internet access, satellite and cable TV. Prepaid cards surely lowered time losses, but lead to increased service costs for mobile operators, as well as for their subscribers. A modern socially responsible service provider can not allow such extra costs.
All the more is this applicable to such new economy sector as mobile communications, where millions of subscribers regularly make tens of millions of payments. That is why millions of citizens chose the new, socially oriented payment system of CyberPlat® born on August, 12, 1998; the day when the first transaction took place. CyberPlat® primary purpose is to provide a convenient way to pay for high-tech services (GSM-communications, Internet, pay TV) and is has become, therefore, one of the major "engines" of the new economy making the most advanced services available to the ever increasing number of clients. In other words, CyberPlat® represents now one of the most important elements of the national project "Affordable and convenient mobile communications." CyberPlat®'s social mission is to make payment procedure significantly cheaper (due to no commissions charged) and accessible (due to numerous payment points and no queues).
Such a sector of the "old" economy as utilities does not in many aspects suit the requirements of the modern world. We all know that the still existing system of paying for utility services is highly inconvenient for the population and the payment procedure itself is very complicated. Banks charge weighty commissions from utility payments, and utility providers in their turn pass this burden to the citizens. That is where billions of rubles from the population's pockets go.
CyberPlat® electronic payments are a good way to save money and time (for service providers and their users as well). Taking into account the system’s national network that makes it possible to actually save working time by simplifying payment procedures, we can conclude that, since its foundation, the CyberPlat® Integrated Payment System helped the population to save hundreds of millions of dollars. With the former arrangements, even going to the provider's office was a problem. If we assume that each person paying through CyberPlat® saves at least 30 minutes he/she would have spent to reach the bank (or his/her mobile operator's office) and to stand in queue, then making 500 million CyberPlat® transactions per year (there were about 250 million CyberPlat® transactions in the first half of 2006) Russian people get each year about 250 million hours of additional free time. This illustrates CyberPlat®'s highly positive effect on the country's social climate (if people spend the saved time for recreation), economy and the growth of Gross Domestic Product (if they spend the saved time at work). Respective calculations show that the system makes the Gross Domestic Product grow by one hundredth a year. Further development of CyberPlat® infrastructure will make its social and economic contribution even more remarkable.
Now the system's members are: 50 banks, 68 telecommunication and utility providers, 420 Internet shops. As of August 2006 CyberPlat® network includes more than 27 000 direct payment points in all regions of Russia. This means the country's leading payment system considerably outruns the Sberbank of the Russian Federation by the number of payment points within the Russian network (Sberbank has about 20 thousand branches). And if we take into account CyberPlat®'s subagents, then, we should say, the system includes 40 000 payment points. CyberPlat® has been recently extending the network of its regional headquarters, which nowadays operate in St. Petersburg, Nizhniy Novgorod, Samara, Krasnodar, Ekaterinburg and Novosibirsk. CyberPlat® network (including subagents) includes now 40 000 payment points and is expanding very quickly.
During CyberPlat®'s successful 8 years of business, electronic payments have become part and parcel of the Russian financial system. All major mobile operators and dealers having Internet shops are members of CyberPlat®. CyberPlat® payment terminals have become and essential element of major, as well as medium and small retailer chains, trading and service establishments.
Reliability, security and high fault tolerance of CyberPlat® Integrated Payment System, as well as transaction safety ensured by electronic digital signatures (EDS) and a multi-level data protection made CyberPlat.com the leader of this fast growing market sector. More than that, CyberPlat® provides highly attractive cooperation conditions for its partners – dealers directly accepting payments from individuals. New dealers can register online and the procedure takes only a few minutes. The number of the system's members is constantly growing due to the newly introduced program "CyberPlat®'s local representative," which makes it possible to gain interest form the turnover of the dealers attracted and does not require any additional investments from
CyberPlat®'s representatives. CyberPlat®'s opening access to the initial codes of its software provided additional possibilities for their adaptation to the hard- and software of the partners of CyberPlat®, which makes it possible to develop this system to the country's uniform standard of electronic payments.
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