In Russia there were 224,260,000 mobile phones in July 2011, or 1.5 mobile phones per person. In the Ukraine, there were 54,377,000. Eastern Europe is a growing market for mobile phones and mobile phone payments.
IE Market Research predicts that in 2015, there will be 44.6 million mobile payment users in Eastern Europe and that the gross value of mobile payment transactions in Eastern Europe will reach 42.3 billion USD.
Unlike many other regions, the main growth in Eastern Europe will be in SMS payments as this is an emerging mobile phone market and whilst everyone can use SMS, only a few phones are capable of WAP or NFC payments.
That is not to say that NFC will not make an impact in Eastern Europe. In Russia Ambiq Tech St. Petersburg, the Russian branch of a U.S. company Ambiq Technologies, has developed a mobile app that enables mobile phone users to use their phone as a payment card or discount card. This system uses NFC technology and users can use it to pay their fares on the St. Petersburg metro.