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The main trends of development of the payment systems market.

When trying to define modern trends of the payment market in a few words, one could say that payments become: a) faster, b) safer, c) cheaper and d) easier. For example, payment by card in an online store is quite expensive: at the average, from 1.5% to 3%, in case of purchasing of some goods. The cost of an interbank transfer within the SEPA is only 15-30 eurocents. The cost of a bitcoin transfer is actually even lower and in some cases may even be equal to zero.

The issue of security of payments remains in the centre of attention of the community of professionals. Banks and payment processors spend enormous money for provision of security of payment infrastructure. A short while ago, new rules and norms regulating the issues of provision of security of online payments were adopted by the EU. Starting from August 01, 2015, such norms became binding on all the market participants.

New means of authentication, including biometrical ones, are emerging and developing. Cryptography methods are being improved. However, one of the most groundbreaking technologies in that regard may be said to be the blockchain technology again. The very principle of formation of the blockchain network ensures a very high level of security of transactions and protection from fraud. According to estimates of experts, the cost of hacking of the blockchain bitcoin network today is about 2 billion dollars.

Payment becomes easier. What does it mean? For one thing, deep penetration into our life of such smart devices as smartphones and tablet PCs radically changes the approach to payment both in online and offline stores. Your smartphone could be easily converted into both a payment terminal and a digital wallet at the same time, having replaced the traditional bank card. Moreover, such payment is also safer, as you do not need to enter the number of the card or to give it to a checkout cashier, etc. Secondly, payment technologies are getting interlocked with intelligent systems of automation of trade and electronic merchandising. For example, when you enter a store, you simply scan the QR codes of samples of the goods you wish to buy, using a mobile application, whereupon an electronic invoice for payment will be automatically generated. You confirm it by a single-use password or PIN code, your payment takes place, and you receive from a manager a bag with all your purchases packed inside. Such systems are already becoming reality.

Virtual storefronts, augmented reality systems and mobile trading platforms link up with payment systems. And at this junction, a new level of payment service is being created.

Threats and prospects; global market volume forecast.

When speaking of the threats related to further development of the payment service market, in my opinion, there are not so many of them. Obviously, such threats are always present when we are talking about any quite radical changes in certain areas of human activities. For example, as I have recently read in The New York Times article devoted to Fintech startups, up to 30% workplaces are expected to be lost in the banking sector in the next 10 years as a result of development of technologies. Probably, this fact may be assessed as a threat for those bank employees who do not want to improve their qualification or change their field of work. But for the global economy in general it is rather a blessing than a threat.

Surely, there is a constant threat to the safety of online payments. But it is precisely the case described in an episode of a well-known film: “you're chasing, and I am running away”. Development of modern systems of protection of information, cryptography and authentication offers hope that in this respect we won’t be caught up with. Besides, one should always compare the cost of hacking and the possible economic benefit of the hacker.

The legislative component and the judicial practice are also of importance in this regard. There are many known cases when hackers were sentenced to prison for quite serious terms in the USA and Europe. Unfortunately, in the Russian practice, such cases are very rare yet.

As for the specifics of the Russian economy, unfortunately, one of the key factors that clearly negatively affect development of innovative payment technologies in Russia is the factor of low investment attractiveness and high riskiness of the Russian payment systems market and of the banking sector in general.

Among the advantages, one could probably name a lower level of competition for the time being remaining in the Russian payment market, as compared to the European and, particularly, American markets.


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