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.

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