Information published on 20 September 2016 in the UIC electronic newsletter "UIC eNews" Nr 515.

Russia: RZD Holding, Gazprombank and MasterCard implement joint project for students

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The Federal Passenger Company, a subsidiary of Russian Railways, has signed a cooperation agreement with Gazprombank as part of the RZD Bonus development programme.
The aim of the joint project is to attract students to the programme by issuing special bank cards using the MasterCard payment system and contactless payment technology.
This is the first banking product for students in Russia and no similar scheme currently exists in the country.

Student cardholders can take advantage of a year-round 25% discount for travel in compartment carriages of the Federal Passenger Company on domestic routes.
Gazprombank has already started making available cards under the “payroll” (campus) contracts concluded between educational institutions and Gazprombank. The cards are issued by the students’ educational institutions.

The card design uses standardised elements from the International Student Identity Card, better known as ISIC, which ensures its recognition throughout the world and guarantees the provision of benefits and discounts for students in the ISIC programme. These include several thousand offers in Russia and abroad, such as discounts for training, leisure, air travel, hotel accommodation and cafe visits, free access to museums, theatres and cultural centres all over the world and much more besides.

The RZD Bonus loyalty programme began in July 2012 and allows passengers to earn points for travel on trains and in carriages of the Federal Passenger Company and Sapsan and Allegro trains. More than 1.9 million people are registered in the programme. According to forecasts, the number of participants will exceed 2 million by the end of 2016.

In December 2015, a cooperation agreement was signed between the Federal Passenger Company, the Professional Union of Public Education and Science Workers of the Russian Federation and the Russian Union of Rectors.

Thanks to this agreement, students and graduates of more than 300 Russian higher educational institutions taking part in the RZD Bonus programme are now able to obtain a 25% discount for travel in the compartment carriages of Federal Passenger Company trains on domestic routes.

At present, more than 35,000 students and graduates are registered in the programme and eligible for discounts.

To obtain a discount, students must undergo an identification procedure at their educational institution. Thanks to an agreement with Gazprombank, all students studying at educational institutions with which Gazprombank has an agreement on issuing student cards automatically receive discount.

In the future, the loyalty programme intends to expand the list of privileges for members of RZD Bonus, as well as develop the partner network, which now includes more than 20 companies offering discounts to the programme participants, such as hotels, banks, theatres, restaurants and tour companies.

RZD Bonus was declared the winner of the Russia Loyalty Awards in the category Best Loyalty Programme of a Transport Company in 2015 and 2016 organised by the National Competition for Marketing Loyalty.

The International Student Identity Card (ISIC) is the world’s largest community of students and combines a card system and a loyalty programme. The International Student Identity Card is the only certificate that confirms student status at international level.
The ISIC project has been officially approved by UNESCO. The cards are recognised by national governments and ministries of education, universities, educational institutions and student organisations in various countries.
Cardholders have access to special offers for students, such as special air fares, privileges in museums, theatres and cultural centres and discount stores, restaurants and hotels. More than 42,000 discounts and special offers are available to ISIC Card Holders all over the world.
The ISIC Partner Network is being active developed in Russia.
The ISIC programme has been operating all over the world since 1953.

(Source: RZD)