Russia: New mobile payment app, all-in-one solution

Russian-based TCS Bank has announced their new and innovative banking and payment application called the Tinkoff Mobile Wallet. With a

Russian-based TCS Bank has announced their new and innovative banking and payment application called the Tinkoff Mobile Wallet.

With a multitude of banking and payment applications available, the Tinkoff Mobile Wallet is one of the few targeting most aspects of mobile payments. The uniqueness of the TCS’ mobile wallet comes in the form of 3 main features.

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The first feature, like other banking applications, is that the app is linked to over 3,000 service providers, like phone, electricity and water providers. The ability to use bank applications to pay for services is not a new concept, and today more and more banks offer mobile banking apps.

The second feature offers Peer to Peer (P2P) payment transfers. The application, with approval from the user, can link to your address book, and can allow transfers to other people via a plethora of options. The options for transferring funds from person to person include, debit/credit card numbers, phone numbers, QR codes to be scanned by the recipient, emails, SMS, and private messaging through the app. Mobile P2P transfers are a fast growing market, and we are seeing quite a number of applications that provide similar services like M-Pesa, Square and WeChat. However we have never seen P2P transfers support so many options in a single application. As the P2P feature is for social payments, another option was added to allow fund requests from other users. Oleg Tinkov, the founder and owner of TCS mentioned in an event for the new app that the P2P feature could be used for social payments like splitting of restaurant checks, taxi rides and other similar situations.

The third option is probably the most interesting one.  The mobile wallet is based upon the MasterCard-Tinkoff Wallet, and is essentially a virtual MasterCard, and can be accepted wherever the card is. This feature takes mobile wallets in a different direction. We have seen mobile versions of alternative payment methods on mobile devices, the main limitation being support. In order to take advantage of the payment option the merchant needs to support it, with the Tinkoff Wallet no specialized support on the merchant’s end is required. TCB is currently in negotiations with Visa about adding a virtual version of their card to the application. This great feature reminds us of the recent news about the Google wallet offering the same service.

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The wallet can be easily loaded at any payment terminal in Russia, with a Russian bank card or credit card. All of the features above, service payments, P2P transfers, and online purchasing being free of charge for the end-users.

With a market that is growing incredibly fast, we see numerous products, very similar to one another, like Square Cash and Youni  with others that stand out like WeChat. TCS has taken all the best ideas, showing that it is possible to cover all bases in mobile payments and offer them in one product.

The Tinkoff Mobile Wallet will be made available in the Apple AppStore, and Google Play only for Russian residents on December 1st.


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