Twelve banks and payment systems are participating in the pilot phase of Russia’s faster payments system (FPS), including VTB, Gazprombank, Alfa Bank, Raiffeisenbank, Rosbank, Sovcombank and Qiwi. A further 98 banks have applied to join the scheme.
The FPS was announced last April and introduced by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR), aka the Bank of Russia, on January 28 this year. It allows instant peer-to-peer (P2P) payments using mobile phone numbers.
The system will be expanded to allow individuals to pay companies for goods and services in the second half of 2019.
Customers can now make and accept instant payments to and from accounts at any FPS member bank using just a mobile phone number. All P2P payments from debit cards during the launch period will be free of charge.oods and services in the second half of 2019.
Among the early adopters of FPS is the self-styled ‘neobank’ Tinkoff Bank. Established in 2006, Tinkoff is continuing to build out its payment services ecosystem as a bank without a branch network.
“As one of the first banks in Russia to introduce payments using mobile numbers, Tinkoff Bank’s participation in the FPS along with other top players will help popularise the system and meet market demand,” said Anatoly Makeshin, the bank’s vice-president and head of payment systems.
“Our experience with our own ecosystem has shown that payment using mobile numbers is highly popular and a successful addition to the overall development of the payment services infrastructure.
“We are continuously working to offer quicker and easier payments to our customers while maintaining our usual highest level of security.”