Russia’s Yandex is fast expanding beyond its search engine roots, and its latest product launch takes it into the offline world. Users of the Yandex.Money electronic payment system can now take advantage of a MasterCard debit card to make payments both online and offline.
The news puts Yandex.Money on a par with rival services like PayPal and Boku, which both offer MasterCard debit cards to accompany their payment systems. The debit card is accepted wherever MasterCard is accepted, making Yandex.Money (said to be the largest such service in Russia) far more useful as an alternative to payment via traditional bank accounts.
As with PayPal, the introduction of the debit card means that customers can now withdrawn cash from their online account via an ATM. The card has no service or transaction fees, except for a cash withdrawal fee of 3% plus 15 rubles.
This isn’t the first time that Yandex.Money has worked with MasterCard. In 2010, a pre-paid, one-use ‘virtual’ debit card was launched, simplifying online payments at the time.
Yandex recently launched Yandex.Disk, a cloud storage solution with 10GB of storage as standard – trumping the apparent 5GB that Google will launch with its own Google Drive, which we reported yesterday looks set for launch next week.