Russian fintech launches digital bank 131

Source: Bank 131

Bank 131, a new digital bank focused on Russian companies and entrepreneurs that work for global internet companies and/or buy from global ecommerce companies with a Russia presence, announced today they have received their banking license from authorities – the first and only new bank to do so in four years.

Bank 131’s mission is to give Russian workers and global internet and ecommerce companies doing business in Russia, a transparent and compliant way of conducting business online, helping build trust and confidence within the traditional Russian banking industry and among Russian regulators.

“We are delighted to receive the first banking license in years, at a time when the Russian banking industry overall is losing license daily due to the aggressive ‘industry cleansing’ policies employed by the Central Bank of Russia. These actions have decreased the number of Russian banks by almost half in just a few years. However, any Russian working for a global internet company or buying from a global ecommerce company badly needs compliant and quality fintech products, so our ambition is to provide them with just that. We hope our new bank will fill a niche that is not occupied by the traditional Russian banks that build their business models on retail crediting and offline business. By our estimations, we are talking about an $8 billion USD market that is not fully visible or calculated by authorities, and is not transparent to all parties involved. Examples include earnings received on Airbnb, or Russian outsourcers and freelancers hired by global tech companies,” says Dmitry Eremeev, Bank 131 founder.

Russian regulators are currently working to strengthen controls over foreign payment systems servicing Russian nationals, making their conditions equal to Russian payment systems. Bank 131’s financial instruments will be developed in tandem and be in full compliance with these developing regulations.

“Russia is known for its talent, especially in IT and mathematics. Many of our citizens work for global internet companies, but it is not always easy to coordinate the local and global business processes, including digital contractors receiving payment for their work,” continues Eremeev.
Bank 131 does not intend to employ traditional business models (such as offline branches and ATM machines) and plans to use the transactional model that payment gateways do. Rather, Bank 131 will be focused on creating the newest fintech solutions that combine the payment gateway and payout model, and with plans to extend their solutions to other markets as well.

About founder and management:
Dmitry Eremeev, the founder of quite a few internet companies under the FIX brand, set up a new project - Bank 131. The top management comes from another prominent Russian fintech company - Yandex.Money, which recently received an MPE award for its Yandex.Checkout payment gateway solution. The new bank aims to become a fintech platform for the global internet companies active in Russia and employing Russian contractors.
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