Market research shows that electronic commerce and mobile Internet are definite growth areas in Russia*, and that makes Russian market a promising area for mobile banking solutions.
This year, to gauge the perspective of mobile banking software development and meet the Russian banking and electronic payments community, Auriga visited the first cross-industry conference “Mobile Finance 2011: technology, business, regulation”. The most prominent players of the Russian mobile banking & finance area gathered in Moscow with government officials for a face to face discussion of the industry perspectives and issues.
The conference on the whole was a vivid and a representative event, with 285 attendees from Russian banking & finance industry, as well as telecommunication & mobile, e-payment companies, software and hardware development companies, content and service providers.
In wide perspective, the most prominent issue of the agenda was the relation between the three parties involved in the mobile payment process, that is, banks, electronic payment systems and the regulating institutions. Despite the bustling growth of the mobile payments sector on the Russian market and the apparent increase of demand for such services, there is a huge gap in the Russian legislation in this area, and almost no best practices or unified protocols and technologies to back on.
Speaking of hands-on solutions represented at the event, we would like to note one characteristic feature of the Russian mobile banking software sector: there are virtually no ‘domestic’ solutions for mobile banking. The systems presented at the conference were in fact adaptations of the software historically intended for US users. This is clearly a point of growth for local software vendors and service providers.
In line with the history of the Internet banking services in Russia, the majority of solutions Auriga traditionally provided for its customers were related to banking systems integration and implementations of complex back office systems.
Following the increased interest for online and mobile banking solutions, Auriga developed a mobile banking application that enables safe, fast and convenient banking for mobile device users. It provides such functionality as checking account balance, carrying out payments and transactions, such as paying mobile phone, Internet and utility bills. It will also provide access to general information such as the locations of the nearest bank offices, ATMs, and currency rates.
Alexandr Videnev, Financial Software Expert at Auriga comments on the unfolding mobile banking trends:
“At Auriga I work on a number of projects for large scale financial institutions, and I know that there is still space for growth and improvement in this field at the local mobile software market. However, I would say that the next big direction for mobile banking penetration is the small business sector.
As soon as mobile banking solutions are easily available to SME and individual entrepreneurs, a whole new dimension for business growth and support will unfold, with fast credits and micro-credits that can be accessed right via mobile gadgets. The managers and business owners will use their mobile devices to direct transactions with their suppliers and partners, as well as monitor payments received from their customers. Managing financial transactions for business will be secure, easy, and fast.”
* In just one year (2009-2010) the share of those who trust electronic money among Internet users grew three times (Source: Romir), while the number of mobile Internet users showed a 45% increase (Source: ComNews Research).