The Bank of the Future Conference Was Successfully Held in Madrid on November 13th to 16th


On November 13th to 16th, 2014 Madrid hosted the annual International Conference “The Bank of the Future” dedicated to payment services, money transfers and innovations.

This year the conference was attended by around two hundred participants from Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Israel, Spain and other countries. Among the participants, there were representatives of regulatory bodies, largest professional associations, banks, financial and high-tech companies, e-commerce market leaders. Maria Stroeva, a well-known business journalist and TV presenter became the conference hostess.

The conference was opened by Senior Expert of the World Bank, Maria Do Ceu Da Silva Pereira. According to the World Bank, the global money transfer market keeps on growing, and during this year, $ 438 bn have been transferred to developing countries. In 2014, the global average cost of a money transfer $ 200 has gone down as compared to 2013 and it was the first time that it was lower than 8% reaching 7.9%.

If we compare the cost of money transfers worldwide, this figure in Russia is one of the lowest: the average cost of a money transfer in our country according to the World Bank makes 1.83% while in the USA it is 5.92%, in France 10.74%, in Korea 6%, in the South Africa 19.54%.

The expert informed the audience in detail about the special software program Greenback 2.0 aimed at enhancing transparency and competitiveness in the money transfer market the main goal of which is to reduce money transfer pricing for consumers. Among the main tasks of the program, the World Bank mentioned the improvement of financial literacy of migrants, a better awareness of banking services in terms of money transfers, advertising of best practices of successful providers of such services, as well as building up of money transfer channels and general market improvement at the local and national authorities level.
Regina Arutyunova, Director of the Infrastructure Development & Innovations Dept, National Payment Council enlarged on the challenges for the industry brought about by the infrastructure of retail payments and outlined a number of steps in the framework of creation of the national clearing system to be implemented by late 2015.

Andrey Emelin, Chairman of the National Financial Market Council touched upon the global topic of simplified customer identification for money transfers without opening an account. He informed of the changes the bank would face in this regard and of the NFMC related activities. In particular, Mr. Emelin told the audience about the pilot project of granting to the banks of access to governmental information databases, for example, to the RF Pension Fund databases to make the evaluation of the borrowers quicker and effective. The pilot project is implemented under the NFMC auspices, with a number of the council member banks participating including UNISTREAM Bank.

The first session of the conference dedicated to the Banking Business & Legislation was closed by the presentation by Guselia Imaeva, General Director of the National Financial Research Agency (NFRA), “Cards, e-money and payments: consumer attitude and preferences”.
The frequency of effected cashless payments and money transfers is directly correlated with the size of a locality. Those who live in big cities use bank cards and e-wallets to pay for services much more often. And so far cashless payments have been most often used to pay for Internet services and mobile communication, for goods and services ordered via the Internet or catalogues, and to repay bank loans and other debts. Respondents below 45 y.o. having a higher or an undergraduate education are the most active cashless payers.

Among the main obstacles to cashless payments, the NFRA experts identify psychological (habit, trust, etc.) and infrastructural barriers (low acquiring penetration, insufficiency of ATMs and payment terminals). Mobile payments are made by 17% of Russians.
The average amount of payment effected via a bank card exceeds by 5 times approximately the amount paid through an e-wallet. The awareness among Russian people of the amount and specifics of charging of fees makes a bit more than 60%, therefore, almost 40% of the population do not know how much they pay for an operation. Such conclusions were made by NFRA experts as a result of the respective research. 

Alexander Gentsis, Member of the Board of Diasoft, presented practical approaches to the construction of the bank of the future. 

In his opinion, the banks are most severely challenged by the entry into the market of “non-banks”, virtualization and stricter regulation. Non-banking organizations show a stable growth in the financial market, for example, in 2014, the market of e-wallets has grown by 18%. In these conditions, banks are faced with such priorities as solving of current tasks, completion of launched projects, optimization of business processes and cutting costs. Alexander informed the audience of the Diasoft products most often used by banks including FLEXTERA BI, a platform for automating business analytics functions, and the Diasoft Framework platform used to create specific business applications. 

Best2Pay company represented by its General Manager Kirill Radchenko presented a simple and effective solution for collection of loan payments. The solution developed specially for banks ― Best2Pay.Transfer – is a joint project of Best2Pay, MasterCard and UNISTREAM Payment System to organize loan repayments / account replenishments in favor of the customers of the UNISTREAM System participants and partners through a website, a mobile application or other remote channels involving cards issued by any Russian banks. This solution enables the banks to comply with the requirements of Federal Law 353 in terms of providing the customers with a free of charge method of loan repayments, stimulating overdue debt reduction, release of human resources for providing customer services of a better quality, cutting costs of the cash turnover servicing. 

Alexey Osipov continued to speak about building up a national payment infrastructure in his report “New trends of the payments market globewise”.

Andrey Kalashnikov, Deputy Commercial Director of the National Service Company (RURU) informed the audience of how the banks could make payments from the mobile phone accounts to collect overdue debts. 

UNISTREAM CEO Kirill Palchun shared with the conference participants details of a successful commission product sales technology.

The conference then continued with a master class given by the Moscow State University Expert, CEO of Practical Training School Sergey Ozerov “Past - Present - Future. Why we repeat the mistakes of the past”.

The first conference day was closed with a panel discussion with the market experts to the topic “Modern payments business trends: sales volume/market share or profits?” Chairman of the Board of UNISTREAM OJSC Gagik Zakaryan, Deputy General Manager of BEST Payment System Anton Pukov, Member of the Management Board, Head of the Banking Products Development Division Susanna Uzunyan, General Manager of QIWI Payment Service Alexander Agakov, General Manager of Payments Here Kamil Batkunov, Deputy CEO of InvestTorgBank Svetlana Kroshkina, CEO of Ipotechny Bank Oksana Novak took part in the discussion. 

The majority of the discussion participants prefer the profits due to the economic situation and the market saturation. Dumping in present conditions entails only negative consequences for companies and their customers. And the representatives of the bank payment agents say that at this stage the market share is also important for them. All the discussion participants observed that, besides the profits and the market share, innovativeness and technology of the provided services have acquired today a no lesser significance.

An increasingly big number of customers start to prefer online services including e-wallets which enable them to make money transfers from home even if a price for such service is a bit higher than for a money transfer in a classical service outlet or in a bank office. Summing up the discussion it can be said that both the banks and the money transfer systems and payment agents should learn to compete in new conditions.

After the business program agenda was completed, the conference guests went on a sightseeing tour of Madrid and then had dinner in a traditional Spanish restaurant accompanied by a wonderful flamenco show. 

The second day of the conference was dedicated to technologies and marketing specifics in the sphere of payments. Presentations were made by Nadezhda Shukalova, Business Development Manager of Google Russia, Boris Kalinich, General Manager of Protobase Laboratories, Mathijs van Houweninge, Executive Director of Inergy, Sergey Kikot, Head of Project of the Cashier Equipment Directorate of INPAS (Innovative Payment Solutions), Anton Pukhov, Deputy General Manager of BEST Payment System, Mikhail Shklyaev, Deputy General Manager of the Digital Communication Agency AdWatch Isobar, Sergey Spivak, Adviser to President of the Internest Group, Dmitry Mulyar, Director of the Department for Cooperation with Commercial Banks, Gamma Center, Tatiana Rubina, Executive Director of Frontline.
Boris Kalinich presented an innovative product for banks “Protobase Credit Conveyor”, a complex solution for building up and automating of the retail and SME lending business process. It is known that the retail and SME lending is automated at the current stage but the banks want a higher efficiency and lower credit risks. The problem is becoming a really urgent today, because due to the economic recession, small and mid-size businesses are reducing their activities, the portfolio loan arrears are growing and there are fewer good quality borrowers. “The overdue debt growth in consumer loans and credit cards is also brought about by a low degree of automation of the credit conveyor, Boris Kalinich underlined. The Banks will still have a lot to do in this field”.

Anton Pukhov presented the new payment system BEST and enlarged upon its strategic partnership with the UNISTREAM International Money Transfer System. Mathijs van Houweninge representing the Dutch company Inergy showed real cases of how the business analytics system developed by his company operated. Sergey Kikot presented a project of his company - INPASS GLORY RZ-200, a tool to develop a bank network and mentioned cases of implementation of a small office involving this solution. Tatiana Rubina representing Frontline presented the state-of-the-art technology for a call processing system and application of this solution to raise the profitability of the banking business. Dmitry Mulyar presented complex solutions for cash processing developed by Gamma Center.

Marketing cases presented at the conference were dedicated to online and mobile advertising and aroused great interest in the participants. Mikhail Shklyaev representing AdWatch Isobar presented a survey of digital and mobile channels for b2c and b2b promotion and touched upon the approaches to measuring the promotion results with best cases from the agency’s practices.

Sergey Spivak enlarged upon effective and ineffective landing pages for the online promotion of banking products and examined the differences for b2c and b2b segments.

Nadezhda Shukalova from Google Russia shared the best mobile advertising cases. She observed a significant growth of popularity of smart phones and tablet computers among the Russian audience. According to Google, 84% of respondents use the Internet daily via their smart phones, 79% users launch search engines on a daily basis. Nadezhda drew the attention of the audience to a new trend: users search for information via smart phones immediately before a purchase is made which gives the companies a unique opportunity for advertising their products and services. Nadezhda enlarged on the Google mobile ad formats and informed of the best cases of the company partners.

The conference was closed with a gala dinner for all the participants in the La Pesquera restaurant.

This year the following organizations became partners of the conference: Association of the Russian Banks, International Association of Money Transfer Networks (IAMTN), National Payment Council, National Financial Market Council, Gamma Center, Life Assistance Services, Diasoft, Protobase Laboratories.

The annual international conference dedicated to payment services, money transfers and innovations “The Bank of the Future” was organized under the patronage of the UNISTREAM International Money Transfer System already for a third year in succession.

About The Bank of The Future Conference

The annual international conference dedicated to payment services, money transfers and innovations “The Bank of the Future” was organized under the patronage of the UNISTREAM international money transfer system already for a third year in succession. The conference is traditionally attended by the chief executives of the top banks, payment systems, high tech companies, and representatives of regulatory bodies and professional associations from Russia, CIS countries, Europe and Asia.

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