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Sberbank is hedging its dominant position to launch a national mobile loyalty and payment scheme

Sberbank announced the launch of its payment/loyalty scheme. Coupled with its control over 40+ million salary accounts in Russia, a controlling investment in a leading POS loyalty program Plazius, huge P2P volumes eclipsing even Barclays Pingit, control over a prominent ecommerce driven Yandex Money - this is a poker game with a flash royal being laid on the table..

Sber is also betting heavily on SME services, controlling a huge chunk of lending in the sector, acquiring and plans to invest in a range of ventures offering o bring online and offline inventory management and loyalty (am not telling more)

On the other end of the table
- Qiwi is losing its prominence with wallet strategy not scaling further as banks were quick to improve their mobile experience. 
- Yandex Money being slowly folded in
- Other independent wallets dying due to squeezed percentage on topups and KYC requirements that make anonimised payments a loosing proposition (low value, huge limits)

The intrigue is with MIR national payment scheme
- only but a card, with no loyalty game attached
- have not solved the leapgrog movement from cards to mobile - and that might cost them. No API for developers, no mobile game
- the education curve for customers today is a steep one and betting only on card token is unwise. Should have remained in B2B as a switch, where all russian cards are still issued in RU.

 

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