Russia’s first new bank in four years is for internet firms
The first new bank to receive a licence in Russia in four years has been created for businesses that earn online and spend online, reports Jane Connolly.
Set up by Dmitry Eremeev – who has founded a number of internet companies under the FIX brand – Bank 131 won’t employ traditional business models, open offline branches or provide ATMs.
The new bank’s plan is to create a new fintech product that combines the payment gateway and payout model and extrapolate it to other markets. Its mission is described as “creating apt financial instruments for working with global internet companies that service Russian citizens.”
Initial customers will be e-commerce companies and entrepreneurs that Dmitry believes have been misunderstood by the existing banking industry. The bank may consider servicing individuals in the future.
“We are getting the first licence in years, while the banks are losing licences daily due to the aggressive ‘industry cleansing’ policy employed by the Central Bank of Russia, decreasing the number of banks by almost half in several years,” Dmitry says. “However, the e-commerce and digital services industry badly needs compliant and quality fintech products, so our ambition is to provide just that.”
Dmitry estimates that there is a market worth $8 billion that is not fully visible to authorities or transparent to all parties involved – such as Russian freelancers hired by global companies.
Bank 131 also aims to explore the Bank-as-a-Service (BaaS) model, customising the solution for each client.