The RIA Novosti Group and A3 have launched a modern online payment service on the RIA.RU website. The service will allow customers to make online payments for utilities, childcare, Internet, cable television and mobile phone services in major Russian cities, as well as to monitor and pay traffic fines. The new service by RIA Novosti and Sistema A3 will allow utility bills to be paid online in Moscow, the Moscow Region, St. Petersburg, Krasnodar Territory, Tatarstan, Republic of Karelia, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Perm, Vladimir, Voronezh, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kostroma, Murmansk, Rostov-on-Don, Tula, Tyumen, Ulyanovsk, Chelyabinsk and Yaroslavl, among others. Internet and cable television providers, telephone bills and traffic fines can be paid in all Russian cities.
“RIA Novosti’s objective is to create a convenient online environment for its readers: The service allows readers to minimize boring, routine activities by paying utility bills and traffic fines online,” said Olga Mashinina, the director of the RIA Novosti Interactive Projects Directorate.
Irina Kedrovskaya, director of RIA Novosti Group’s Internet and multimedia projects, said the new service is the first in a series of products that the media holding is going to offer on its websites.
“We are monitoring our audience’s behavior, because, as you know, media consumption follows the rules of behaviorism. It is constantly changing and getting more complicated. Often, the context of news items on the www.ria.ru website – for instance, new traffic fine regulations, changes in traffic rules or information about utility rates – will serve as a reminder to make a payment. There is a big advantage in combining a news source with a payment service,” Kedrovskaya said.
The new payment service is simple and user-friendly. Just go to www.ria.ru and register on the payment portal https://ria.a-3.ru/. Payments can be made by credit card, from a mobile phone account or with an A3 payment card. To check for any unpaid traffic fines, you will need to provide your vehicle registration number, your registration certificate number and the number of your driver’s license. The system will then show all unpaid fines. In Moscow, Yaroslavl and Nizhny Novgorod you can make payments to certain kindergartens. The list of kindergartens and cities served by the system will be continuously expanded.
To receive confirmation of the payment made through the portal, customers can order a paper copy, stamped by the bank, to be delivered. In addition, the payment history will be stored in the system. A statement for any time period can be issued on demand.
“The creation of this useful service on the RIA Novosti website, which will work as a ‘one stop shop,’ is aimed at making our lives easier. There are numerous online payment services these days, and they are becoming very popular. But if one payment can only be made through an online system, the other through a terminal and electricity or gas bills can only be paid at the bank, the customer would probably prefer to pay all the bills together at the bank,” said Alexander Sakharov, the director of A3. “Therefore, when developing this system, we tried to make it as functional as possible and to allow customers to pay all utility providers in the region, to view their unpaid bills and receive them in electronic format, to submit their meter counts, check for any traffic fines and pay for Internet, television, stationary and mobile phones on the site,” he added.
The list of providers whose services can be paid for on the RIA portal will be expanded. Customers can request to have a provider included on the list by submitting a form on the feedback page of the user profile at https://ria.a-3.ru/.
“One of the trends forming on Western markets is the creation of new kinds of services on news websites, which monetize the audience. With the help of these services the website can get additional revenue through converting readers into customers. The launch of the RIA Novosti payment service is just the first step toward merging online commerce and news sources in Russia,” Mashinina said. She cited the example of an online store offering household supplies, accessories, clothes and shoes on the website of The Daily Telegraph, a British newspaper.