Tinkoff Group, the leading online provider of financial and lifestyle services, has announced its acquisition of a majority stake in Beskontakt LLC, the developer of Koshelek digital wallet, an aggregator of banking cards and retail loyalty programs.
The Koshelek app is a leader in its field, reporting the highest number of users of any app in Russia and the CIS. The deal was closed on 29 April 2021 and the transaction terms are to remain confidential.
The Koshelek app is a digital wallet and Russia's only mobile app for aggregating bank cards, loyalty and discount cards, and coupons. At present, it has digitized over 300 million cards and has a user base that exceeds 20 million.
Koshelek helps users to rid themselves of plastic and transition entirely to digital cards. To receive a discount at checkout, the user simply needs to show their discount card on their smartphone screen, and pay with a tokenised debit or credit card by holding the smartphone close to the contactless payment terminal. The application offers retailers access to a new audience, alongside savings on loyalty and discount cards and better customer communication. Koshelek partners with 19 of the 30 largest loyalty programs in Russia.
The Koshelek team, including its co-founders Kirill Gorynya and Filipp Shubin, will remain autonomous and continue to develop the company's business. The company's partnership with Tinkoff will further strengthen the app's position as a leading provider of loyalty programs for Russia’s largest retailers. The company’s current development strategy will remain intact, and the platform will continue to be open and independent in order to encourage new customers to engage with banks that participate in the app’s Koshelek Pay service.
As part of its partnership with Tinkoff, Koshelek will begin integrating user-friendly financial instruments into its service offering, including: "buy-now-pay-later" payment plans, varied cashback options, Tinkoff Target programs and more. The app’s users will benefit from attractive offers and a seamless customer experience within a single mobile app, while its new features will expand opportunities for retailers to develop co-branded programs and boost sales.
Oliver Hughes, Tinkoff Group CEO:
"We are happy to welcome Koshelek into the Tinkoff family. Koshelek has a spirit and DNA that is very close to our own, and this new partnership aligns perfectly with our goal to provide Russians with the best service in the market. Our teams will cooperate closely with one another for mutual gain; Tinkoff will share the groundwork it has laid in business process optimization as well as its expertise in implementing cutting-edge IT solutions to ensure Koshelek continues to develop rapidly. We already plan to integrate Tinkoff's financial service offerings into the Koshelek app, in order to accelerate its development and enable Koshelek to offer its customers great deals and cashback. The Tinkoff and Koshelek teams will present their first joint project at SPIEF 2021. We have no doubt that our partnership will be extremely beneficial to both companies, as well as to our customers, who remain our top priority.”
Kirill Gorynya, Co-founder of Beskontakt LLC:
"We are confident that this new partnership will not only help Koshelek to scale its market presence but also to increase its value to users by merging all checkout stages - from displaying a loyalty card to processing payment - into a single convenient, safe and easy-to-use scenario. Regardless of their smartphone model and brand, Koshelek users will soon be able to receive discounts, accrue and spend bonus points, pay by instalments, receive cashback and more. I would like to emphasise that Koshelek will remain a completely open and independent platform, ready to integrate the services and solutions of our business partners, including banks and financial institutions."
About the Application
The Koshelek app is a leading card aggregator in Russia and Belarus. The app has over 20 million registered users, of which 11 million do their daily shopping using discount and bank cards stored in the application. The number of digital cards stored in the app by users exceeds 300 million.
Koshelek is a unique communication channel that businesses can use to interact with their customers at point of sale. Koshelek's partners include 19 of the 30 companies with the largest loyalty programs in Russia, including X5 Retail Group, Magnit, Lenta, O'key, Eldorado, Kari, leading manufacturers of FMCG goods and over 60 banks, including the largest players in the financial market. The app has an integrated mobile contactless payment service, Koshelek Pay, which is one of the only payment services available in Huawei’s new smartphones.
The Koshelek app is available in the App Store, the Google Play store and in Huawei’s AppGallery. The App Store named Koshelek among its top 20 apps in 2019 and 2020.
The company has been a strategic partner of Mastercard in the field of contactless payments since 2013. In 2017, Deloitte recognized it as one of Russia's top 10 best startups. In 2019, research undertaken by Skolkovo cited the company as the most innovative startup in the retail sphere, while Business Petersburg (Delovoy Peterburg) named it the best IT project. In 2020, Koshelek won the FINAWARD prize for innovation and achievement in the financial sector, and ranked 3rd in the Services category for the Runet Rating national award for websites and mobile apps.
The developer of the Koshelek app, Beskontakt LLC, was established in 2012 within a corporate investment fund i-Free.