London-based fintech start-up APEXX, founded in 2016 as a single marketplace for global payments, said its solution is now available in Russia, with the ability to process payments through the national Mir payment system for the first time.
APEXX is connected to Russia’s three largest banks - Sberbank, VTB, and Alpha Bank - making it possible to route all transactions back to the issuing bank, guaranteeing On-Us processing of 80% of all transactions. According to APEXX, with On-Us processing, businesses typically see a 5-10% increase in local transaction approval ratios, and a 25-30% increase in cross-border transaction approval ratios.
Implemented to mitigate against political risk between Russia and the US, the Mir payment scheme was mandated for issuers by the Central Bank of Russia. It is fast becoming one of the biggest card schemes in Russia, with over 37 million Mir cards issued to date.
With potential US sanctions looming, Russia could turn off Visa and MasterCard transactions and run payments solely through the Mir payment system. Western brands operating in Russia need to make sure they are ready for any possible future action.
“There is a huge appetite for international brands in Russia and e-commerce growth is higher there than across the rest of Europe,” said Peter Keenan, CEO of APEXX. “Being able to offer our solution in Russia is a huge milestone for APEXX and our customers.
“Our ability to process Mir payments means we are not only future-proofing our Russian offering but also helping businesses ensure they have the ability to process payments domestically in the face of any possible sanctions.”
APEXX adds that its solution in Russia requires no Russian legal entity making it available worldwide. “With payment data stored in Russia, APEXX saves businesses the risk of having to manage the Russian data storage laws,” the company announced. “Other benefits include significant tax rebates for businesses being settled offshore and the lowest FX mark-up with settlement available in EUR/GBP/USD or RUB.
“APEXX consolidates global payment providers into a single integration point, optimising the cost of complex payment ecosystems. Since its launch in 2017, the platform has already saved merchants upwards of 15% on the cost of processing card payments and alternative payments.”
The global APEXX network is made up of payment service providers (PSPs) and banks which helps merchants to reduce the cost of cross border payment acceptance, increase sales with optimised payment transaction routing and manage multiple provider relationships through a single integration point.
Using the cloud-based platform, merchants can compare costs and get expert advice on the payment providers that will best suit them.
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