Sberbank and "Tinkoff" launch a unified system of remittances by phone number

The State Bank for the first time let another bank into its system of card transfers.
Sberbank may for the first time start another bank in its system of card transfers - it tests transfers by phone number with "Tinkoff Bank"

Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank are testing the service of wire transfers between banks by mobile phone number, two people who knew this from the project participants told Vedomosti. The banks' press services declined to comment.

Now both Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank have card-to-card transfers at their phone number, but they can only send money that way inside banks. "Tinkoff Bank" allows its customers to send money to other banks by entering only the phone number of the recipient. But money is not automatically credited: the recipient receives an SMS message with a link, after which he must enter his card number.

"Tinkoff Bank" has long wanted to access the system of transfers of the Savings Bank, recalls the retail banker. Sberbank is the main player in this market: the transfers through its cards account for about 65% of all transfers made by Russians last year. And the number of active debit cards of the Savings Bank, according to the State Bank, by the end of 2017 reached 102.4 million.

Transfers by phone number is an "absolute trend" and many banks negotiated with each other how to organize them, says Executive Director of the National Payment Association Maria Mikhailova. Its service of transfers from card to card by mobile number in April launched Mastercard, plans to build the same system was announced by Visa.

Sberbank, being the undisputed leader of the retail financial market, avoided projects with other banks, concluding alliances with large players of other segments, primarily with Yandex.

Most likely, Sberbank did not open access to its system, not because of reluctance, but because of the technological characteristics of its system, believes Mikhailova. Perhaps, only at the "Tinkoff Bank" Sberbank will not stop. A representative of UEC, a subsidiary of Sberbank, told Vedomosti on Wednesday that its company will create solutions for Sberbank's integration with external counterparts, including in the project of online transfers from card to card between customers of different banks by card or phone number .

Sberbank has almost all cards and for Tinkoff Bank it is an opportunity to give its customers convenient translation services, the bank analyst thinks. For Sberbank, this is primarily an opportunity to earn - it is unlikely that transfers will be free, he continues. According to the counterparty of one of the parties, customers will pay 1% of the transfer amount.

Unlikely to push Sberbank to the deal with Tinkoff Bank was its main shareholder, the Central Bank, announcing the launch of a rapid payment system (URS) from January 2019. The idea of ​​the project is that people can transfer money between accounts in different banks by mobile phone number , e-mail or other simple identifiers, and funds were credited instantly. The system is developed by the Central Bank's "daughter" National payment card system in conjunction with the members of the Fintech Association, and its operator and settlement center will be the regulator itself.

SBP will allow to break Sberbank's monopoly on transfers, bankers hoped in conversations with Vedomosti: now money sent from Sberbank's cards can be credited several days. Sberbank, they said, is not happy about the appearance of the system and sees it as a competitor of its own.

The State Bank wanted the SBP to work on its infrastructure, two people close to the creators of the Central Bank's translation system told Vedomosti.

Nevertheless, Sberbank joined the SBP project, the first deputy chairman of the Central Bank, Olga Skorobogatova, announced this at the beginning of June. Both Sberbank and Tinkoff Bank are participating in the project, says Tatyana Zharkova, managing director of the Finteh Association. If these banks launch their system of transfers between cards by mobile number, it is unlikely to compete with SBP, she believes: "SBP is an independent equidistance service to which any banks can connect. And translations in it will be possible between any types of accounts, not just between cards, which is cheaper and more convenient. SBP should reduce the costs of banks, and therefore, their customers. " The same advantages of the future system are listed in the comments of the Central Bank, which does not comment on the acting banks.

In any case, it's good that the participants are already testing the translation service by phone number and are heating the interest of customers to it, concluded Zharkova.