By Max Yevdokimov, VP of Mobile at Tinkoff Bank
Fintech has become quite a buzzword today: fintech, bioengineering, and near and deep space exploration are the most exciting tech trends at the moment. Unlike the last two which require expert scientific knowledge, fintech is a field that affects everyone who uses online banking or any kind of payments. As young people across the globe continue to move away from brick-and-mortar banking and finance, more and more start-ups, mobile apps and innovative financial solutions are popping up. However, these are mainly about altering or improving user experience and we haven’t seen any real breakthrough in fintech besides bitcoin and the blockchain.
When banks first set up their branch networks, they were focused on optimising and designing their layout. Then cash machines appeared, and they then rushed to streamline the user interface for those. Now that online and mobile platforms have become mainstream, banks are obsessed with improving the interface of online and mobile banking. But the problem is that most banks approach this from within and don’t properly consider users’ needs. This is exactly why fintech start-ups have emerged because they view the personal finance universe from the perspective of the user. So, it has become obvious that what traditional banks are offering is driven either by their inside understanding of their own processes (no matter how user-friendly those are, if at all), or by their IT infrastructure capabilities. Most initiatives deal with product interface upgrades or new form factors of connected devices.
The winners are those market players who can look at their product from the user’s perspective and anticipate the service they need and the form the user wants to receive this service in. And that’s where we come in! We started off back in 2006 as the first online-only bank and are developing this model to showcase the bank’s role as a fintech disruptor. We develop web services and mobile apps to be used not just within our customer base, but also in the broader market. A good example is our Traffic Fines app, where people can sign up for notifications and pay any fines they receive directly through the app. Traffic Fines has hit more than 3.5 million downloads to date.