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August 12, 2007

Nine years ago CyberPlat® transacted the first online payment in Russia for a mobile carrier.

On August 12, 1998, CyberPlat®, the largest e-payment system in Russia and CIS, made the first on-line top-up transaction for Beeline, the largest cellular communication operator, which proved to be a beginning of e-commerce thriving in Russia.

The well developed payment acceptance infrastructure, built by CyberPlat® throughout the past years, provided an opportunity, for the majority of population in Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine, to pay for the services rendered by various service providers in a convenient and safe mode. CyberPlat® payment processing system is now the largest partner for Beeline, MTS and MegaFon in terms of volumes of payments accepted from subscribers, collecting around 20% of total revenues earned in the Russian mobile communication market.

The CyberPlat® cash acceptance network consists of over 75 thousand outlets or over 100 thousand outlets, taking sub-dealer payment acceptance outlets into account. The quickly growing number of payment acceptance outlets already double exceeds the number of offices, operated by all Russian banks, comprising 38 000 bank outlets at present. It provided an opportunity to pay for mobile phones, pay-TV or Internet services within walking distance, as the CyberPlat® cash acceptance outlets are located practically everywhere — in specialized retail chains, in large and small stores, post offices, mobile retailers, drugstores and filling stations.

Over the passed nine years, e-payments have become an integral part of the Russian financial system mainly due to the CyberPlat® payment processing system. All large mobile and landline operators, pay TV service providers, security system operators, internet service providers, housing and communal service companies, and power supply companies, as well as banks, retail and terminal chains joined the CyberPlat® cash acceptance network. Self-service terminals connected to CyberPlat® have long since become an element of service in most of retail and banking networks.

E-payments transacted by the CyberPlat® platform means saving resources both for service providers and users (and not only money, but time resources as well). Keeping in mind transnational scale of the system and actual labor time saving achieved by payment procedures simplification, it is possible to state that the CyberPlat® payment processing system has saved, for the population, hundreds of millions dollars.

Continuous technological innovations guarantee, for the CyberPlat® payment processing system, the performance parameters which are unique in the market. The system operational capacities are, for example, 1 billion transactions per month whereas in July 2007 alone, the system processed 106 million transactions. It is quite indicative, that CyberPlat® outruns the combined operations of Central Bank, Visa and MasterCard in Russia, in terms of transaction numbers.

Caring about convenience for our customers, CyberPlat® implemented an option for the residents of Russia, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to top-up their mobiles regardless of the country they are visiting. The new CyberPlat® service allows millions of people, visiting their relatives, going on business or holiday trips, to stay in touch.

Today, 42% subscribers in Russia spend for mobile communications the amounts less than 100 rubles — a minimum face value of the cheapest scratch-card. Before CyberPlat® payment processing system was introduced young people were not able to top-up their phones for 100 rubles as they often did not have such an amount available and as a result were not able to use mobile communication services. For example, children receiving 100 rubles for lunch from their parents were not able to deposit this amount to mobile phone. Throughout many years CyberPlat® has been building its extensive cash acceptance network making it possible for their customers to top-up their phones for the smallest amounts they were able to deposit. It is possible, for example, to effect payments through CyberPlat® for the amounts of 5 rubles 17 kopeks or 7 rubles 58 kopeks which children may have left as change after buying their lunches.

The statistics clearly show that nine years of CyberPlat® payment processing system operation have greatly contributed to mobile communication penetration increase in Russia. Over the nine years, due to CyberPlat® payment processing system developing its extensive cash acceptance network, there has been built a new subscribers base, including dozens of millions people who are low-income cellular communication service consumers, spending several dozens rubles a month for mobile communications. They are mainly young people and children using CyberPlat® cash acceptance network to deposit small amounts sufficient to send SMS and make urgent calls. 10 rubles a month are enough, for example, for a child who tops-up them through CyberPlat® to send SMS to friends and take calls from parents.

A large cash acceptance network built by efforts applied by CyberPlat® decreases silence period caused by insufficient balance on a subscriber’s mobile. Now, if a subscriber’s mobile phone account is exhausted, they do not have to spend their time and efforts to locate a nearest mobile carrier office. Due to efforts made by CyberPlat®, one may top-up their phone on the way and actually everywhere.

CyberPlat® payment processing system has another unique benefit for all the parties to payment processing procedure. If a subscriber, for example, purchases products in a store for the amount of 41 ruble 20 kopeks, and hands in a 50-ruble note, it is not always convenient for a cashier to give 8 rubles 80 kopeks as change, as they not infrequently lack small coins. The cashiers often offer their customers to top-up their change to their mobile phones. In such a case, all parties to the process obtain obvious benefits: a payer does not have to leave tips, a cashier does not experience problems with coins any more when giving change, and a mobile carrier receives additional money and increases its subscriber base.

Pursuant to the leadership strategy, CyberPlat® has been actively developing its business in the territories of neighboring countries — Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The leading role of the CyberPlat® payment processing system in developing cellular communication market in Kazakhstan is evidenced by the certificate of acknowledgement of CyberPlat® as an absolute leader in terms of the total number of payments accepted from Beeline subscribers in Kazakhstan in 2006.

CyberPlat®’s accession to the GSM World Association is a recognition of the great contribution made by the system to the Russian cellular communication market development, and highest quality of its services.

According to the study of Deloitte&Touche, a 20% mobile subscriber base increase leads to a 2.4% growth of the country’s GDP, as it is well-known that the development of telecommunications serves a driver of economic growth. Bearing in mind the fact that CyberPlat® technology was instrumental in the 42% mobile carriers’ subscriber base increase, it will not be unreasonable to state that the operation of the CyberPlat® payment processing system throughout nine years has contributed 5% on average to the GDP growth of the Russian Federation.

“Mobile penetration in Russia has already exceeded 100%. It happened mainly due to the longstanding efforts, applied by CyberPlat® payment processing system in providing mobile carriers’ subscribers with ubiquitously accessible payment acceptance outlets, possibilities of depositing even smallest payment amounts, instant top-up and safety of transactions,” Andrey Gribov, Director General of CyberPlat® commented.

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