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The Post-Soviet fintech landscape - the case for Georgia

Many decades have passed since the collapse of the Soviet Union but the trace is left on the countries is still felt in many aspects of their social lives. Sometimes people think that the countries that split from the USSR would have never emerged as completely independent, developed regions because of the influence the USSR had over them. Back in those years, freedom of expression was suppressed, people were restricted to bring their ideas into action and the ones who tried hard to change something usually ended up badly. But years have passed, the situation has changed, and believe or not there are certain modern industries in some post-soviet countries that are pretty much thriving. 

Most people probably can’t even imagine that the FinTech landscape would ever develop so much in small post-soviet countries. Sometimes people haven’t even heard the names of these small countries but actually, they are slowly emerging and if you take a closer look at them, you will realize that anyone who believes the post-soviet atmosphere will never overcome the impact of so-called Big Brother and its regime, are greatly mistaken.

In this article, we are going to discuss the FinTech landscape of Georgia which is just a small country located on the borders of Europe and Asia with great potential. Many special things make Georgia truly outstanding between their neighboring countries. People in this country have unique traditions, exceptionally beautiful nature, developed tourism industry, and many other attractive things but what is more surprising, technologies in this country took a big step forwards in recent years and today we can say that Georgia is one of the most attractive destinations for FinTech opportunities.

Georgia’s potential in FinTech

Today major FinTech companies of the world are starting to invest in Georgia as they see that there are already many big companies that successfully function in the country. In this small nation, there is a great diversity of fintech companies, from newly established startups to big business companies that often provide their customers with revolutionary services. TBC Bank is a great example to see how the FinTech landscape is emerging in Georgia. 

We can certainly say that the online banking system in Georgia is flourishing at the moment and continues to do so. The leading banks of the country provide the customers with online banking applications and they can easily make various transactions in just minutes. But what is more important is that these companies always try to make the service as convenient for Georgia people, as possible. For example, if you take a look at TBC you can see that banks in Georgia are doing so much in order to keep pace with the world’s developed companies. TBC is a technology-driven bank that has plenty of innovative ideas that help them realize their major plan to “Make people’s lives easier”.

The bank is so successful that in fact, in 2018 the international magazine Global Finance named it the world’s best social media marketing and services. However, it’s not the only achievement of this bank and what is more important is that the company launched the first fully digital bank in Georgia called Space. 

Creating Space was a revolutionary step not only for TBC but for the whole FinTech industry of Georgia. This new bank is completely digital and exists only as a mobile app, without any traditional physical branches. Thanks to this application, customers are provided with a full range of retail banking services, such as loans, payment cards, and saving products. This customer-oriented daily banking system completely changed the way Georgian people access their financial services and challenged the whole banking sector of the Caucasus. Therefore, now Georgians can take advantage of P2P payments and benefit from a truly end-to-end digital experience for the first time.

Payment services in Georgia

Georgia there are various methods of payment. The country is supported by leading payment providers like Alipay Global, BitPay, Coinbase Commerce, eps-Überweisung, GoCoin, MyBank, etc,. One of the most favorable options is Money movers which is a multifunctional payment system that helps online stores to receive payments using different payment methods that are integrated. Specifically, more than 170 payment providers are integrated into Money Movers Payment Acceptance System which works in 4 different currencies. Thanks to MMPAS more than 60 million transactions are conducted in Georgia per year which is far more than years ago. 

Today the number of online transactions with payment cards tends to increase although the rate is already pretty satisfying. Therefore, e-commerce became very popular in this country as well. The most popular e-commerce destination in Georgia is TBCOnline which is a mobile banking platform of TBC bank. Also, Georgias often use e-commerce websites like eBay, Amazon, and AliExpress to purchase things and pay with e-wallets and credit cards. In order to pay in Georgia, you should use the national currency Lari which is the only legal means of payment. And the most common payment providers there are Visa and MasterCard. 

Blockchain business in Georgia 

Georgia is an enormous crypto market. Bitcoin is one of the most popular currencies there and the blockchain business is very successful. Although we can’t certainly say that it has the potential to become the first crypto mining in the world and replace China, the crypto landscape in this country is really attractive for investors. The main reason for its success can be attributed to Bitfury, which is a leading BItcoin mining company that bought several old warehouses in Georgia and turned them into Bitcoin minings. They quickly gained benefits because electricity in this country is very cheap and doing a business there was something really convenient for the firm. 

Now Georgia attracts thousands of Bitcoin traders, companies, and investors who buy Bitcoin and make great profits

Bottom Line

Finally, what we can say is that Georgia is a small country with lots of opportunities for startups that look for interesting areas to work in. Having access to international markets, as well as the cheap workforce is a perfect place for every Fintech company aiming to develop business. Although currently the country obviously faces some economic problems mainly as a result of the pandemic, it actually has the potential for the growth of the Fintech sector. 

But one thing is certain - it’s time to start thinking about Georgia in the terms of a post-soviet state because many things have changed and today Georgia remains one of the most interesting opportunities for fintech startups and probably, in a few years fintech landscape in this county will grow even more.

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